Arena Football League announces return of 16 teams in 2024


The Arena Football League is set to return in 2024. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arena Football League is officially back.

The AFL announced on Wednesday that it will officially return in 2024.

The league, which last shut down in 2019, will have 16 teams and play a 10-game season. Details of these teams are not yet known.

“We are excited to come out of hibernation and make this announcement official,” AFL President Anthony Rossi said in a statement. “Our goal in acquiring AFL was to bring back a heritage brand that deserves to be revived and showcased around the world. We wanted to live up to the old saying “Bigger and Better”, but this time we want to integrate the components of a modern business – streaming, betting, technology, virtual reality and immersive fan engagement mixed with good old Ironman football… We believe that We have assembled a world-class operational team comprised of C-suite executives, experienced athletic coaches, football staff, performance facilities, legal partners, professional team owners and alumni.”

The AFL played its first season in 1987. After the 2009 season was canceled due to financial problems, it restarted in 2010 — though it continued to shrink until its final season ended in 2019 with just six teams. The Albany Empire won the ArenaBowl that season.

The league is the latest spring football league to appear or re-emerge in recent years. The United States Football League returned last spring. The XFL is also expected to return this month after Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson joined the ownership group after his last attempt in 2020.

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