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 Post subject: Arena Football
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:38 pm 
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Location: Portland! (and about time!)
I've been curious about this operation for some time, have seen a game live, have seen a lot of things about it.

I'm actually somewhat surprised that Indiana is giving up, from appearances. http://www.indystar.com/articles/6/177214-1556-036.html

I say somewhat surprised. Many moons ago, Boise's sports talk radio hack had this dream of bringing an AFL team to Boise, until he talked to an official for the then Portland Forest Dragons. What was described was a break-even attendance of 12,000 at the average ticket prices, which were a little higher than what the league liked to let on when the Forest Dragons played in Portland. (The hack was thinking of the covered pre-fab Idaho Center, nominally a rodeo arena, west of Boise, seats 13,000)

That description was prior to the labor negotiation that threatened to cancel a season a handful of years back. The players won some concessions in that negotiation. Ticket prices may have increased as well, so I've only got a vague idea that the break-even number probably hasn't gone down. We just know that Indiana never broke 12,000 per game in any year.

AFL expansion has worked fairly well the last two years, with Denver selling every seat in 2003 and Philly, Columbus, and New Orleans leading in attendance in 2004, but the team in Denver already dropped about 2K per game in 2004 (the indoor lacrosse team in Denver outdrew the Crush). The history for the league is that the first year defines how long it takes for the team to slide down to inevitable doom, except for the small handful of teams that have maintained crowds through thick and thin. The league survives by constant re-expansion.

The NBC TV contract seemed to help matters for the league, except there were concerns that NBC would not renew because the ratings were, well, about what you'd expect (1-ish after the initial curiosity). Then NBC renewed, and for four years, but one of the staff at NBC issued a bit of a warning that things must improve- a weird little mixed signal in my book.

In this environment, Indiana folding isn't reassuring, especially at this point. There are rumors flying about Detroit right now, Carolina seems to be in a position to fail any time now, Grand Rapids had to make a point to their fans to say that they'd be around in 2005, and Georgia is moving back to Philips Arena (Georgia was drawing 2K better in suburban Gwinnett than they did in their first year or two at Philips).

Does this league keep on keeping on the way it always has? Or are rumors of the demise of this league taking hold?


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 Post subject: Arena Football
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 10:00 am 
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Guess I should update. Carolina, Detroit, and Indiana all closed their doors, though there's now someone sniffing around in Indy trying to resurrect the Firebirds.

Meanwhile, Utah has an expansion team. (Not to be confused with the new MLS team, of course)


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 Post subject: Arena Football
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 12:22 pm 
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What is the largest number of teams in ONE season that the AFL has had in its history?

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 Post subject: Arena Football
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 3:49 pm 
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19 in 2001, and in 2004.

1987: 4
1988: 6
1989: 5 (I think this was more of an exhibition schedule)
1990: 6
1991: 8
1992: 12
1993: 10
1994: 11
1995: 13
1996: 15
1997: 14
1998: 14
1999: 15
2000: 17
2001: 19
2002: 16
2003: 16
2004: 19
2005: 17

Number of franchises in 2000 that are in the same location in 2005: 6... and Arizona apparently just skirted folding IIRC.


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 Post subject: Arena Football
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:59 pm 
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If so, how did the scheduling formats worked back in each season of the league?

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 Post subject: Arena Football
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:21 pm 
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The league is back to 18 with the addition of the KC Brigade, who I presume simply just were placed in New Orelans' slot. With New Orleans scheduled to return next season, that would give the AFL 19 teams.

Current alignment:

American Central: CHI, CO, GR, NSH
American Western: ARZ, LV, LA, SJ, UT
National Eastern: CLB, DAL, NY, PHI
National Southern: AUS, GA, KC, ORL, TB

Personally, I would have gone with the following:
Western: ARZ, LV, LA, SJ, UT, CO
Central: AUS, DAL, CHI, KC, GR, NSH
Eastern: CLB, NY, PHI, GA, TB, ORL


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 Post subject: Arena Football
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:44 am 
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The AFL should have at least 24 teams. Each conference has 3 divisions of 4 teams per division. And here are some predicted scheduling:

2 games * 3 conference (intra-divisional)
1 game * 8 conference (inter-divisional)
1 game * 4 non-confrence (one division) Note: Facing other divisions of the other conference go on a 3-year rotation (a 6-year rotation for "home/road" mode)

P.S.: I will soon express a scheduling format of one team under my idea.

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 Post subject: Arena Football
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 6:08 pm 
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I'm sure the AFL would like to be at 24 teams, but they have to find stable markets first. With KC being such a short-notice addition, there's probably some concern whether they'll be able to support an AFL team. There will probably be another expansion team added for next year (along with New Orleans) to make 20 teams, after that I'd expect some kind of holding pattern to make sure there's some stability before adding new teams. It seems for the most part that there is more success in cities without an NFL team or teams with less than 2 major pro sports, which is probably a big reason why Indianapolis tanked after 2 years. As for where the next expansion team goes... it's anyone's guess right now.


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 Post subject: Arena Football
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 10:05 am 
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Quote:
I'm sure the AFL would like to be at 24 teams, but they have to find stable markets first. With KC being such a short-notice addition, there's probably some concern whether they'll be able to support an AFL team. There will probably be another expansion team added for next year (along with New Orleans) to make 20 teams, after that I'd expect some kind of holding pattern to make sure there's some stability before adding new teams. It seems for the most part that there is more success in cities without an NFL team or teams with less than 2 major pro sports, which is probably a big reason why Indianapolis tanked after 2 years. As for where the next expansion team goes... it's anyone's guess right now.


No concern over KC, they had the second highest attendance for the league. Thats with hardly any time to market a team, plays in a crappy arena, and with a loser. I think they are safe.


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 Post subject: Arena Football
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 2:47 pm 
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Utah was first, BTW, at just less than 16K per game... which means that Columbus and Philly are sliding down, and the league misses New Orleans.

This league is forever determined to have 5 stable markets, no more, sometimes less.


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 Post subject: Arena Football
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 5:29 pm 
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Last Saturday, NBC announced that they're dropping the contract with the AFL. Not a surprise by most accounts.

My glance at the rumor mill indicates a couple problems with current teams. Stay tuned. Overall, you know it can't be good for the league.


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