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Arena Football League owners call it quits

The lack of a viable business strategy, coupled with a bad economy, led Arena Football League owners to throw in the towel for a 2010 return.

At the end of the day, there just weren't enough revenue streams to justify the return of the Arena Football League for 2010, as league owners announced a suspension of operations, with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing likely.

League officials aren't saying much — the announcement came in a short, one-paragraph posting on the league's Web site — but some former employees tell us it really was a matter of sponsorships and a TV deal not being enough to cover the costs of running a league, even with operations and sales centralized in the league office. At one time the working model was to have NFL teams run arena operations (something the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Bucs did), but we're not sure that ever worked out: running an event in an arena as a secondary tenant is a whole lot different than running a game in your own stadium before 80,000 fans. 

The model may be the more modest AF2, which focuses on smaller markets and is closer to semi-pro football on many levels. AFL officials liked to point out Kurt Warner got his start in the AFL, but the fact is the indoor league pretty much failed as a feeder system for the NFL, one of the selling points for the NFL. 

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