SBD/Issue 72/Leagues & Governing Bodies

AF1 Set To Launch With 15 Teams, More Scaled Back Budget

Iowa Barnstormers Owner Says AF1 Will Play As
One-Tier League For First Couple Of Years
The AF1 has closed applications for '10 and “will start its inaugural season with 15 teams split into four divisions,” according to Dan Johnson of the DES MOINES REGISTER. It “will be a mix of teams” from last year’s af2 league with those from the defunct AFL. The league’s owners paid $6.1M “to acquire the team names, logos and other assets from the AFL in bankruptcy court.” Iowa Barnstormers Owner Jeff Lamberti: “In some respects we shocked people from the old AFL by our willingness to buy the old assets and demonstrate our (financial) strength.” The league will have a higher budget than af2, but it will be "far cheaper than the AFL.” Travel “will be higher than in the af2 and players will be paid a base salary of $400 per game instead of $200.” But there “will be less overhead than in the AFL, where players were paid $30,000 per year.” The AF1 will include eight franchises from the af2 -- Iowa, Spokane, Tulsa, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Bossier-Shreveport, Jacksonville, and Alabama (formerly Tennessee Valley). They will be joined by seven former AFL teams -- Chicago, Cleveland, Orlando, Arizona, Dallas, Tampa Bay and Utah. Lamberti said that AF1 was originally planned “as a two-tier league, with the top tier having affiliates in the lower tier.” But there “will only be one tier for at least the first couple years.” Single-game tickets will go on sale in March (DES MOINES REGISTER, 12/24).

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