2016 Arena Football League season
|2016 Arena Football League season|
|League||Arena Football League|
|Duration||April 1, 2016 – August 26, 2016|
|Season MVP||Nick Davila, ARZ|
|American Conference champions||Philadelphia Soul|
|American Conference runners-up||Jacksonville Sharks|
|National Conference champions||Arizona Rattlers|
|National Conference runners-up||Cleveland Gladiators|
|Finals MVP||Shaun Kauleinamoku, PHI|
The 2016 Arena Football League season was the 29th season in the history of the Arena Football League. Prior to the start of the season, the league contracted to eight teams. The 16-game regular season then began on April 1, 2016 and ended on August 1, 2016. The league, however, kept its eight-team playoff format, which meant that every club qualified for the postseason.
The Las Vegas Outlaws and the New Orleans VooDoo were dropped from the league at the end of the 2015 season because new ownership groups could not be found for either team. The Spokane Shock jumped to the Indoor Football League on September 1, 2015. The AFL claimed ownership of the Shock name, forcing the team to rename itself the Spokane Empire. On October 30th, 2015, the league announced that there would not be any expansion teams for the 2016 season; this event occurred just under three hours before what had been slated to be the expected announcement of an expansion franchise in San Antonio to be owned by the ownership group of the San Antonio Spurs. The group owning the 2015 league champion San Jose SaberCats returned the franchise to the league on November 12, 2015 for "reasons unrelated to League operations". Commissioner Scott Butera said the league would try to find new ownership, but this was not forthcoming in time for the team to operate during the 2016 season to defend its championship. Because the league was now down to eight teams for the 2016 season, there were still the American and National Conferences but no divisional play. The Cleveland Gladiators were moved to the National Conference to maintain a balance between the conferences. The league took over operations of the former Portland Thunder in January 2016 and rebranded it as the Portland Steel. The 2016 schedule was announced on December 10, 2015.
All teams from both conferences qualified for the playoffs. As in the prior season, there were the Conference Semifinals, the Conference Championships, and ArenaBowl XXIX.
In the American Semifinals, the Soul beat the Storm 63–41 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The Sharks beat the Predators 69–68 in overtime; the National Semifinals saw the Rattlers beat the Steel 84–40 and the Gladiators beat the Kiss 56–52 in San Diego, California.
The Rattlers doubled up the Gladiators 82–41 in the National Conference title game. In the American Conference title game, the Soul edged the Sharks by a score of 55–50.
The Philadelphia Soul upset the heavily-favored Arizona Rattlers 56–42 in ArenaBowl XXIX in Glendale, Arizona for their second AFL title.
|American||Jacksonville Sharks, Orlando Predators, Philadelphia Soul, Tampa Bay Storm|
|National||Arizona Rattlers, Cleveland Gladiators, Los Angeles Kiss, Portland Steel|
Regular season standings
x - Clinched conference title.
|Conference Semifinals||Conference Championships||ArenaBowl XXIX|
|American||August 6||7:00 p.m. EDT||Jacksonville Sharks||69–68 (OT)||Orlando Predators||Amway Center|||
|National||August 6||10:00 p.m. EDT||Portland Steel||40–84||Arizona Rattlers||Talking Stick Resort Arena|||
|American||August 7||6:00 p.m. EDT||Tampa Bay Storm||41–63||Philadelphia Soul||PPL Center|||
|National||August 7||6:00 p.m. EDT||Cleveland Gladiators||56–52||Los Angeles Kiss||Valley View Casino Center|||
|National||August 13||9:30 p.m. EDT||Cleveland Gladiators||41–82||Arizona Rattlers||Talking Stick Resort Arena|||
|American||August 14||6:00 p.m. EDT||Jacksonville Sharks||50–55||Philadelphia Soul||PPL Center|||
|August 26||7:00 PM EDT||Philadelphia Soul||56–42||Arizona Rattlers||Gila River Arena|||
- "IFL Announces Addition of Spokane Shock". Indoor Football League. September 1, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
- "AFL Issues Statement on Spokane Shock". www.arenafootballleague.com. Arena Football League. October 12, 2015. Archived from the original on December 17, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
- "AFL Issues Statement on San Jose SaberCats". www.arenafootballleague.com. Arena Football League. November 12, 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-12-17. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
- "AFL Announces 2016 Conference Alignment". www.arenafootballleague.com. Arena Football League. October 30, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
- "AFL Takes over Operations of Portland Thunder". OurSportsCentral. January 6, 2016.
- "Portland AFL Organization Rebrands to Steel". OurSportsCentral. February 24, 2016.
- "Arena Football League Announces 2016 Schedule". www.arenafootballleague.com. Arena Football League. December 10, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
- "Orlando Eliminated From Postseason with Overtime Loss to Jacksonville". arenafootball.com. August 7, 2016. Archived from the original on October 17, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- "Rattlers Advance with Huge Win over Portland 84-40". arenafootball.com. August 7, 2016. Archived from the original on October 21, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- "Storm Falls in First Round of AFL Postseason, Loses to Philadelphia 63-41". arenafootball.cstv.com. August 7, 2016. Archived from the original on August 9, 2017. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- "LA KISS Eliminated From Postseason with Loss to Cleveland". arenafootball.cstv.com. August 7, 2016. Archived from the original on August 9, 2017. Retrieved August 9, 2017.}
- "Rattlers Earn Trip to ArenaBowl XXIX with Win over Gladiators, 82-41". arenafootball.com. August 14, 2016. Archived from the original on October 21, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- "Soul Outlast Sharks 55-50, Advance to ArenaBowl XXIX". arenafootball.com. August 14, 2016. Archived from the original on October 21, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- "Soul Defeat Rattlers, 56-42, to Claim AFL Crown". arenafootball.com. August 26, 2016. Archived from the original on November 13, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2017.