Arena Football League closes team operations; future unclear



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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Arena Football League is closing its business operations in its six local markets, calling it a "difficult, but necessary decision."

The league hasn't decided what the next step will be.

"We have not yet made the final determination that it will be necessary to suspend all League operations, but we expect that decision to be made within the next few weeks," Commissioner Randall Boe said in a statement Tuesday night.

He says the decision to close team services and business operations in the local markets was caused by "extensive legacy liabilities" and a recent multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed against the indoor league by its former insurance carrier.

But, he said, "We are exploring every possible avenue to continue bringing AFL football to our fans."

Boe told the Albany Times-Union the AFL could evolve into a traveling league modeled after the six-team Premier Lacrosse League, which just completed its first season and has plans to return next year.

The Arena Football League was founded in 1987 by Jim Foster, a former NFL executive. The fast-paced game is played on a 66-by-28 yard field, about one-fourth the size of an NFL field. Franchises are Albany, New York; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Baltimore; Columbus, Ohio; Philadelphia and Washington.

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