Alliance of American Football
|Most recent season or competition:|
2019 AAF season
|Founded||March 20, 2018|
|Ceased||April 17, 2019 (bankruptcy)|
|No. of teams||8|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California|
The Alliance of American Football, commonly referred to in brief as the AAF or The Alliance, was a professional American football league, founded by Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian. The AAF consisted of eight centrally owned and operated teams, all in the southern and western United States. All teams except Birmingham were located in metropolitan areas with at least one major professional sports franchise.
The AAF began play on February 9, 2019, six days after the National Football League's (NFL) Super Bowl LIII championship game. On April 2, 2019, the league's football operations were suspended by controlling owner Thomas Dundon, who purchased his stake in the league shortly after it began play. Two days later, the AAF allowed players to leave their contracts to sign with NFL teams. On April 17, 2019, the league filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- 1 History
- 2 Teams
- 3 Rules
- 4 Business
- 5 Key people
- 6 Media
- 7 Reception
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
Filmmaker Charlie Ebersol was inspired to create the AAF in late 2016 after producing the documentary This Was the XFL for ESPN Films' 30 for 30 series; upon researching and examining the history of the XFL, he came to the conclusion that the concept was viable but that the finished product was both poorly executed and, from an on-field standpoint, bad football. He began developing the AAF in February 2017, about the same time that word had come out about XFL co-founder Vince McMahon possibly reviving the old XFL brand (which McMahon would indeed do). Exhibits in a lawsuit filed by Robert Vanech, who claimed to have co-founded the AAF, state that Ebersol had originally approached McMahon about relaunching the XFL but was unable to come to an agreement, as Ebersol wanted control of the XFL brand and was willing to pay $50 million for the trademark, which McMahon was unwilling to sell.
The AAF was announced on March 20, 2018. Ebersol sought to focus on creating a solid football product in the hopes that it would attract fans. He hired a team of experienced football players, coaches and executives to prepare the league for launch. The AAF was overseen by former NFL general manager Bill Polian, former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, and executive J. K. McKay. Advisers also include former Steelers receiver Hines Ward, former New York Giants and Oakland Raiders defensive end Justin Tuck, retired referee and current Fox NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira, and Ebersol's father, retired NBC Sports executive (and co-founder of the original XFL) Dick Ebersol.
Ebersol attended the first XFL game in Las Vegas in 2001, and remembered how disappointed his father was by the poor quality of play. To ensure professional-level football at launch, the AAF set out to hire coaches with professional football coaching and championship experience. On April 7, 2018, the first team, Orlando, was announced with its coach Steve Spurrier. By June 2018, the league had announced its eight inaugural teams and their cities.
On July 30, 2018, the Alliance announced the league had signed 100 players. In August 2018, the league held the Alliance Scouting Combine at three locations and four dates: August 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, California; August 18 in Houston, Texas; and August 25–26 in Atlanta, Georgia. By August 24, 2018, 205 players were signed. These dates provided an opportunity for players cut at the NFL roster deadline, and each player signed a non-guaranteed three-year contract worth a total of $250,000 ($70,000 in 2019; $80,000 in 2020; $100,000 in 2021), with performance-based and fan-interaction incentives allowing for players to earn more.
In July 2018, Starter, through G-III Sports, which manufactured NFL jerseys and apparel in the 1980s and 1990s, was named the official on-field apparel and game-day uniform supplier for the AAF, marking a return for the brand to professional football after an almost 20 year absence. On September 20, the league announced four eastern inaugural franchises' names and logos. The four western teams' logos and names were revealed five days later.
On October 16, 2018, the Alliance announced its schedule (indicating the day and location, but not the time, of each game) which has two games each on Saturday and on Sunday most weekends. Quarterback skills training camps were held at the Alamodome in San Antonio on November 12 through 14. On November 27, the league held a four-round "Protect or Pick" quarterback draft in the Esports Arena at Luxor Las Vegas and broadcast on CBS Sports Network.
The AAF began its inaugural, 10-week season on February 9, 2019. The first points in AAF regular season history were scored by kicker Younghoe Koo of the Atlanta Legends, who made a 38-yard field goal against the Orlando Apollos. The first touchdown came in the same game with Orlando quarterback Garrett Gilbert connecting with Jalin Marshall for a 16-yard score. The first shutout was recorded by the Birmingham Iron when they defeated the Memphis Express, 26–0, in Week 1. The first onside conversion (see Rules section, below) was attempted during Week 3, with Atlanta successfully completing a 48-yard pass against Birmingham. The first safety was registered by Atlanta against the Arizona Hotshots in Week 4. The first overtime game occurred in Week 7, with Memphis defeating Birmingham.
A four-team playoff was to be capped with the league's championship game, initially scheduled to be held at Sam Boyd Stadium near Las Vegas. After Dundon took over league operations, he moved the game to the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas.
Cessation of operations
I am extremely disappointed to learn Tom Dundon has decided to suspend all football operations of the Alliance of American Football. When Mr. Dundon took over, it was the belief of my co-founder, Charlie Ebersol, and myself that we would finish the season, pay our creditors, and make the necessary adjustments to move forward in a manner that made economic sense for all. The momentum generated by our players, coaches and football staff had us well positioned for future success. Regrettably, we will not have that opportunity.
Players found out about the suspension through the Internet before their coaches confirmed the news. Players were evicted from the hotels where their teams were being housed—with some being personally charged for unpaid hotel bills—and required to pay their own way home; they also lost their health insurance and were forced to cover their own medical bills from injuries sustained during play. League employees were notified via an April 2 letter from the AAF board, which did not give a reason for ending the season, that their jobs were terminated as of April 3 with no severance. Ebersol and Dundon refused public comment; Ebersol would eventually speak out on April 17, stating that he had been advised not to speak by his attorneys. He insisted that the money he raised was there and had been vetted up until immediately before the season, claimed that reports of players being saddled with hotel and medical bills were either fake news or fraudulent charges, and could not ensure that all those owed money would be paid.
On April 4, the AAF announced through their official Twitter account that players were eligible to leave their contracts to sign with NFL teams. The contracts that players had originally signed included a stipulation that they could leave to sign with NFL teams at the conclusion of an AAF season. The league did not issue any public statement until April 6, when the AAF.com website was updated with a statement, which read in part:
This week, we made the difficult decision to suspend all football operations for the Alliance of American Football. We understand the difficulty that this decision has caused for many people and for that we are very sorry. This is not the way we wanted it to end, but we are also committed to working on solutions for all outstanding issues to the best of our ability. Due to ongoing legal processes, we are unable to comment further or share details about the decision.
At the time its football operations were suspended, the AAF had played eight weeks out of a scheduled ten-week regular season.
On April 17, the league filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation) in Texas’ Eastern District. In the filing, the league claimed assets of $11.3 million, liabilities of $48.3 million, and approximately $536,000 in cash. The AAF counted its player contracts among its assets in the bankruptcy filing, blocking players from joining the Canadian Football League. This block was lifted a day after the bankruptcy filing.
The league's uniforms and equipment were stored in a lot in San Antonio, Texas and eventually auctioned off in July 2019. Former Arena Football League commissioner Jerry Kurz made the winning bid at $455,000, beating out bids from (among others) the revived XFL. The perpetually postponed Major League Football claimed it had agreed to purchase the equipment.
|Atlanta Legends||Atlanta, Georgia||Georgia State Stadium||24,333||Kevin Coyle|
|Birmingham Iron||Birmingham, Alabama||Legion Field||71,594||Tim Lewis|
|Memphis Express||Memphis, Tennessee||Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium||58,325||Mike Singletary|
|Orlando Apollos||Orlando, Florida||Spectrum Stadium||44,206||Steve Spurrier|
|Arizona Hotshots||Tempe, Arizona||Sun Devil Stadium||57,078||Rick Neuheisel|
|Salt Lake Stallions||Salt Lake City, Utah||Rice–Eccles Stadium||45,807||Dennis Erickson|
|San Antonio Commanders||San Antonio, Texas||Alamodome||64,000||Mike Riley|
|San Diego Fleet||San Diego, California||SDCCU Stadium||70,561||Mike Martz|
Ebersol deliberately avoided making radical changes to the rules of the game so as to make it recognizable to the U.S. public. He stated that he used the average length of a feature film, slightly over two hours, as the basis for a typical fan's attention span.
- Teams had 52 players on each roster, with some selected by a territorial draft. The territory assigned to a team consisted of at least five colleges plus designated professional teams, one Canadian Football League, and four NFL teams (players from colleges outside the AAF footprint being allocated based on their most recent professional team). Only one quarterback could be taken from their region.
- Telecasts featured no television timeouts and 60 percent fewer "full-screen commercials," with the league aiming for an approximate real-time game length of 150 minutes, down from just over 180 in the NFL. In turn, the AAF aimed to charge more money for the remaining commercial slots, also alluding to product placement opportunities that did not interrupt the game telecast.
- There were no extra point kicks; teams had to attempt two-point conversions after a touchdown.
- Defenses were forbidden from advancing ("rushing") more than five players on or across the line of scrimmage, and no defensive player could cross the line of scrimmage from more than two yards outside the offensive tackles. The "illegal defense" penalty for violating these rules was a 15-yard penalty.
- There were no kickoffs; possession at the start of each half, and after touchdowns and field goals, began on a team's own 25-yard line, in line with the NFL touchbacks. After a safety, the scoring team received possession at their own 35-yard line.
- In lieu of an onside kick, a team could keep possession of the ball by attempting an "onside conversion", a scrimmage play from their own 28-yard line and gaining at least 12 yards (essentially, a fourth-and-12 play). A team was not allowed to attempt such a play after a field goal or touchdown unless it was trailing by 17 or more points, or during the final two minutes of the first half, or during the final five minutes of the second half. The onside conversion play was also available after any safety, played from the 18-yard line.
- The play clock ran only 35 seconds, five seconds shorter than in the NFL, but still longer than the CFL's 20 seconds, timed from the spotting of the football. (The league originally proposed a 30-second play clock, but Ebersol concluded it would negatively impact the quality of play.)
- Players could not throw the football into the stands or hand it off to a spectator following a touchdown. While other leagues (particularly the NCAA) have similar rules in place using rationale based on sportsmanship, the primary motivation for the AAF rule appears to be economic as its footballs (manufactured by Wilson Sporting Goods and marked with distinctive red, blue, and white stripes) contain expensive tracking technology. The penalty for such behavior was unsportsmanlike conduct, a 15-yard penalty, and if it is determined to be deliberate, a fine can be assessed to the offending player. Other touchdown celebrations are generally tolerated.
- Trent Richardson of the Birmingham Iron was penalized during the first week of AAF play, when a ball he spiked after scoring a touchdown bounced into the stands. AAF officials later determined that Richardson's actions were accidental and did not assess the fine, also apologizing for the penalty.
- There were no automatic instant replay reviews of scoring plays or turnovers as there are in the NFL. Each team was given two coach's challenges, which they could use at any time outside the two-minute warning, and received a third if both challenges were successful. After the two-minute warning in each half and during overtime, the replay booth had sole authority to call for a replay review.
- Outside organizations handled head-safety protocols.
- In the event of a tie at the end of regulation, a single overtime period would be played, under the high school football rules of the "Kansas Playoff." Each team would begin on their opponent's 10-yard line and be given one possession (four downs) to score, with no field goals allowed. Had a score remained tied after each team was given their possession, the game would end in a tie. Both teams would be given one timeout per overtime possession. The coin toss winner could choose to possess first or defer. Had the AAF reached the postseason, accounts differed on what system would be used; early reports had repeated rounds of the Kansas Playoff played until a winner was determined, but later reports stated that the AAF would use sudden death (golden point), which had been abolished at all other levels of football by the time of the AAF's debut.
- Playoffs would have consisted of four teams, the top two teams from each conference.
- Officiating crews had eight members on the field, similar to NCAA Division I football, instead of the standard seven-official system used in the NFL and CFL (the eighth officiating member was the center judge). AAF officiating also had a ninth member, called a sky judge, an off-the-field official who reviews every play using technology like a booth review. The sky judge could call or take away penalties missed or made by the field officials.
The Alliance operated as a single entity, with all teams owned and operated by the league, under the name Legendary Field Exhibitions LLC. Some of the investors in the AAF included Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, The Chernin Group (which owns Barstool Sports), Jared Allen, Slow Ventures, Adrian Fenty, Charles King's M Ventures, and Keith Rabois. Long-term plans were for the AAF to sell franchises to individual owners.
MGM Resorts International made an investment in the AAF tech platform, and entered a three-year sponsorship agreement to become the league's official sports betting sponsor and exclusive gaming partner. The deal marked the first time any sports organization had sold exclusive in-game betting rights to a sportsbook. Scott Butera, MGM's director of interactive gaming (the division that signed an agreement with the AAF), was formerly the commissioner of the Arena Football League before his 2018 ouster. Under the terms of the agreement, MGM Resorts International owned all rights to the tech platform in the event the league ceases operations, preventing an investor from buying the league solely for access to the technology. Gambling functions were never implemented on the league's app, and many planned features for the app never materialized due to technical glitches and impracticality.
The league also had player bonuses and scholarships, with player bonuses based on performance and fan interaction, players were to earn a year's scholarship in post-secondary education for each season of play. Players got three-year, non-guaranteed contracts worth $250,000 plus health insurance with an escape clause to go to the NFL. The three-year contract was believed to be purposely targeting the XFL to prevent second-tier professional players from signing with the XFL if they played in the AAF in 2019. XFL commissioner Oliver Luck stated that he did not believe that such a clause would hold up in court after the AAF collapsed, and that the XFL would be willing to sign AAF players. The league also has an incentive system that pays members of a team's offensive and defensive units for statistical achievements and also pays players to perform community service; the exact details of this incentive system were not yet finalized at the start of the 2019 season. Players are assigned to each team by way of a centralized process that is largely a trade secret. For the fans, in addition to a fantasy league built into mobile broadcasts, there are low ticket prices (each team have a $35/game sideline seat option) and inexpensive food at games. When the league abruptly folded, the league left players to personally pay outstanding bills for their own hotels, as well as their transportation home and even their medical bills from injuries sustained during play.
The AAF coaching salaries varied by title, with $500,000 for head coaches, $200–250,000 for coordinators, and $75–150,000 for position coaches. Each AAF team employed between 11 and 13 total coaches, putting the total coaching staff expenditures at around $2 million per staff and $16 million for the entire league.
On February 18, 2019, the league announced that Tom Dundon, whose other holdings include the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League (NHL) and TopGolf, agreed to invest $250 million into the league. He was also named the new chairman of the AAF, and Dundon reportedly received a majority stake in the league in exchange for his investment. Dundon's investment was initially reported to be due to the league being in danger of not making payroll. It was later reported that the payroll issue was due to a glitch in the league's changing of payroll companies, and that Dundon's investment had already been planned. Dundon later backtracked on his previous claim of a $250 million investment, noting that he had not actually delivered a $250 million lump sum to the league. Dundon plans on incrementally investing in the league, using $250 million as a theoretical maximum based on if the league were to "aggressively expand," and reserved the right to pull out of the league at any time. At the time of the reported April 2 suspension, Dundon had invested an estimated $70 million into the AAF. He had drastically reduced unnecessary expenses and mostly abandoned the technology platform by the end of the league's operations in a desperate attempt to keep the league financially viable.
Ebersol had admitted prior to the start of the season that, on numerous occasions, the AAF had come dangerously close to folding before its first game due to various unstated complications. When asked whether some of the AAF's initial investors had dropped out, Ebersol declined to answer. After the league suspended operations, it was revealed that one of the league's major investors, former Minnesota Vikings minority owner Reggie Fowler, had indeed pulled his funding after the inaugural game, necessitating the abrupt sale to Dundon. It came out in late April that Fowler's funds had been frozen by the Department of Justice, after Fowler's indictment on charges of money laundering for cryptocurrency exchanges.
In early March 2019, it was revealed by Bill Polian that the AAF and National Football League were in informal discussions about a system where players under contract to NFL teams could be loaned to AAF teams. The idea would have been be for NFL teams to assign their third-string quarterback and other players from the bottom half of their roster and practice squads to the AAF to gain more playing time in a similar system to what used to be in place during the existence of NFL Europe. This would have in effect made the AAF an official developmental league of the NFL. Dundon sought a change in the NFL's collective bargaining agreement to protect AAF players who may get injured and miss NFL playing time by ensuring the players still earned a salary from the NFL during their recovery. In late March, Dundon stated that, in reference to the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and its reluctance to cooperate out of concern for injuries, if they are "not going to give us young players, we can't be a development league". He added that the AAF was looking at its options, including discontinuing the league if the NFLPA wasn't willing to work with the league. Profootballtalk.com reported shortly thereafter, citing unnamed sources, that if Dundon's demands were not met, he was willing to end his investment before the season ended, possibly as soon as after Week 8, which would cut off the league's cash flow and force it to immediately fold with the playoffs and championship left unplayed. As Week 8 passed, Dundon reiterated his stance on April 1, stating he was still willing to pull his funding before the next week's game.
Ultimately the AAF lost an estimated $88 million overall, earning only $12 million in revenue against its $100 million expenses.
In late February 2019, a lawsuit by a venture capitalist in Los Angeles became public, as the AAF issued a statement denying a claim by Robert Vanech that the league was his idea and that he had a handshake agreement with Charlie Ebersol; Vanech is seeking financial damages and 50 percent ownership of the league.
Also in late February, the league revealed that it had been unable to secure a league-wide worker's compensation insurance policy prior to the start of the season, forcing the Orlando Apollos to move its practice operations to Kingsland, Georgia, and commute to Orlando for games, as Florida does not consider professional athletes to be eligible for worker's compensation.
In April 2019, after the league suspended football operations, two players—punter Colton Schmidt of the Birmingham Iron and linebacker Reggie Northrup of the Orlando Apollos—filed a class action lawsuit in California, claiming that they were misled about the financial viability of the league and that the league entered contracts with players in bad faith.
Also in April, two former front-office league employees filed a class action lawsuit in California, claiming that the league violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988, which requires large companies to give at least a 60-day advanced notice before large layoffs.
- Charlie Ebersol, co-founder and CEO
- Bill Polian, co-founder and Head of Football
- J. K. McKay, Head of Football Operations
- Troy Polamalu, Head of Player Relations
- Hines Ward, Head of Football Development
- Tom Veit, Head of Business Operations
- Mike Pereira, Officiating Consultant
- Dean Blandino, Officiating Consultant
- Player Engagement Board Of Advisors
Board of Directors
As part of its formation, the AAF announced broadcast deals with CBS Sports; opening day (consisting of two regionally-televised games) was scheduled for CBS, as well as a playoff semifinal and the championship game. The telecasts made extensive use of on-field microphones (with head coaches and quarterbacks also miked), and Skycams (with two deployed for each game, with one along the sideline, as opposed to having more than one high camera). Half of the games broadcast each week were produced off-site from Sneaky Big Studios in Scottsdale, Arizona: graphics (which were provided by CBS), Skycam operations, and commentary were performed remotely from the Scottsdale site, as well as studio coverage for all games (via a virtual studio). Ebersol did not disclose whether or not the league was buying the airtime or receiving the airtime for free as part of a partnership agreement. After the season ended, it was confirmed that the AAF had resorted to buying airtime and was unlikely to be able to extract a rights fee from any of its partners for its foreseeable future, a factor in Dundon's decision to withdraw his investment. CBS broadcast an ad for the league during its coverage of Super Bowl LIII.
CBS Sports Network aired one game per week, and was scheduled to air one of the playoff games. In addition to local stations, TNT was announced as broadcasting two games per season (one regular season and a playoff game which later was expanded to include three regular season games) while NFL Network aired two weekly games. The league's mobile app offered live streaming of all games except those broadcast on CBS Sports Network, billed as "AAF Raw" as most of the AAF live streams contain no announcers or on-screen graphics, while Turner's B/R Live streamed one game a week. Integrated fantasy games were available through the AAF site and app as well.
CBSSN's game of the week was called by Ben Holden, Adam Archuleta, and John Schriffen. NFL Network's broadcast team for week one consisted of Dan Hellie on play-by-play and Marvin Lewis on color commentary. TNT's broadcast team consisted of Brian Anderson on play-by-play, Lewis on color commentary, and Maurice Jones-Drew as sideline reporter. The league did not use set announcer pairings, rotating numerous hosts (several of them from the NFL on CBS and the SEC on CBS) on both play-by-play and color commentary, depending on availability.
The AAF received mixed to positive reviews opening night. Profootballtalk.com, in a mostly positive review, praised the league's television product and choice of markets that would embrace the league, singling out the live look-ins at the replay booth during coach's challenges as an innovation that could transfer to the NFL's television broadcasts. The on-field level of play was somewhat less well-received, being compared to NFL preseason levels, with numerous offensive miscues. SB Nation had a similar assessment, criticizing the game play as "much worse than... most of major college football," while at the same time noting that the league's innovations were largely successful in making games more interesting. In an admittedly incomplete review, Peter King stated that although he would not yet draw any "major conclusions" about the league, he liked some of the rule changes but feared the overtime process would be a gimmick.
Overnight Nielsen Ratings stated that the league-opening regionally televised games on CBS were the highest rated telecast of the night in the key demographic, drawing more viewers than an NBA game on ABC in the same time slot. In overall viewers, both the AAF and NBA lost to a rerun of America's Got Talent: The Champions on NBC. The NFL Network telecast that week secured 640,000 viewers. With these comparatively strong initial viewership statistics, the Week 2 ratings were highly anticipated in the interest of developing trended data. In Week 2, the afternoon and evening games on Saturday, February 16, reportedly attracted 1,018,000 and 425,000 viewers, respectively, in addition to the Sunday evening game on February 17 drawing 424,000 viewers. Week 3's NFL Network games drew 491,000 and 515,000 viewers, benefiting in part due to a counterprogramming effort against the 91st Academy Awards. Week 4's ratings were largely consistent with those of week 2, with the two NFL Network games that week securing ratings of 404,000 and 450,000 viewers, comparable to college basketball and NHL telecasts on the other sports networks. The disparity between the afternoon and evening games is consistent due to increased competition during primetime hours and the higher market penetration of CBS and TNT compared to NFL Network and CBS Sports Network, the latter of which does not register a rating in the Nielsens.
In March 2019, building upon these ratings successes, both CBS and TNT added games to their packages; TNT added two additional Saturday afternoon games previously scheduled for B/R Live (which would air special Skycam-only broadcasts of the games as a companion instead), while CBS announced that it would shift two games from CBS Sports Network to broadcast television, including a regular season game on April 6, 2019 (which would have led towards CBS's broadcast of the 2019 NCAA Final Four), and one of the conference championship games. However, due to the suspension of football operations, these games were left unplayed.
- "AAF files for bankruptcy, officially closes down", USA Today, AP, April 17, 2019, retrieved April 17, 2019
- Allen, Kevin. "AAF suspends football operations with two weeks left in regular season". USA TODAY. Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- Wickersham, Seth; Rothstein, Michael (June 13, 2019). "Inside the short, unhappy life of the Alliance of American Football". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
- Kercheval, Ben (April 2, 2019). "AAF operations suspended, league's future in doubt after eight games of first season". cbssports.com. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- "AAF to immediately suspend operations". ESPN. ESPN. April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- Schwartz, Nick (April 4, 2019). "AAF star Keith Reaser becomes first player to sign NFL deal after league shutdown". USA Today. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- Redford, Patrick (April 17, 2019). "AAF Officially Pulls The Plug, Files For Bankruptcy". Deadspin. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
- Kercheval, Ben (February 4, 2019). "AAF 2019: How the new Alliance of American Football stands out in a growing pro football landscape". CBS Sports. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
- "More trouble for the AAF? Man reportedly suing league for 50 percent ownership stake". AZcentral.com. February 25, 2019. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
- Rovell, Darren (March 20, 2018). "Former NFLers involved in league to rival XFL". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- "AAF's officials pleased with opening weekend TV ratings but remain cautious". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Associated Press. February 13, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- "Steve Spurrier to coach Orlando team in new spring league, Alliance of American Football". CBS News. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
- Steimle, Kevin; Breech, John (April 7, 2018). "Steve Spurrier announced as first coach and Orlando first host city for Alliance of American Football". CBSSports.com. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
- Munz, Jason (August 1, 2018). "Alliance of American Football announces Memphis team has signed 28 players". The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
- Ward, Brendan (July 2, 2018). "Alliance of American Football hosting scouting combine for players". WMC Action News 5.com. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
- Froyd, Crissy (August 27, 2018). "Zach Mettenberger and Antonio Andrews reunite in new pro league". Titans Wire. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
- Rothstein, Michael (April 2, 2019). "Source: AAF to immediately suspend operations". ESPN. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- Wilner, Barry. "Alliance signs players cut by NFL teams for spring league". AP News. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
- Benjamin, Cody (July 24, 2018). "Alliance of American Football strikes multi-year uniform, apparel deal with Starter". CBSSports.com. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
- Benjamin, Cody (September 20, 2018). "LOOK: Alliance of American Football unveils logos of four pro teams that will debut in 2019". CBSSports.com. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
- Benjamin, Cody (September 25, 2018). "LOOK: Here's a full list of team names and logos from the Alliance of American Football". CBSSports.com. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
- "Alliance of American Football schedule released for Arizona Hotshots, other 7 teams". AZ Central. USA Today. October 16, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Scott, Dana (October 31, 2018). "Alliance of American Football league to hold 'Protect or Pick' quarterback draft". AZ Central. USA Today Network. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- Kercheval, Ben (February 9, 2019). "AAF Week 1 scores, highlights: Spurrier calls 'Philly Special' for TD, Orlando and San Antonio win openers". CBS Sports. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
- Eli, Simone (February 10, 2019). "Iron shutout Express in AAF season opener". cbs42.com. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
- Keohan, Matt (February 25, 2019). "The AAF's Alternative Rule To The Onside Kick Was Used For The First Time Sunday And Fans Are In Love". brobible.com. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
- Thompson, Jaylon (March 4, 2019). "Murray leads Legends to win over Hotshots". AAF.com. Archived from the original on March 6, 2019. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
- Burnett, Marq (March 25, 2019). "Iron fall to Express in first overtime game in Alliance history". AAF.com. Archived from the original on March 25, 2019. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
- "AAF shifts title game from Vegas to Frisco, Texas". ESPN. AP. March 20, 2019. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
- Rothstein, Michael (April 3, 2019). "AAF suspends operations; Polian 'disappointed'". ESPN.
- Paylor, Terez (April 3, 2019). "The inside story of the AAF's final day, through the eyes of its players". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- Kartje, Ryan (April 5, 2019). "AAF goes under: Inside the sudden collapse of the Alliance of American Football". Orange County Register. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
- Barrabi, Thomas (April 4, 2019). "AAF players booted from hotels, left to pay medical costs out of pocket: Report". Fox Business Network. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- Ourand, John (April 17, 2019). "SBJ Media: Charlie Ebersol Speaks". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
- Florio, Mike (April 4, 2019). "AAF players finally receive authorization to sign with NFL teams". profootballtalk.com. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- "Alliance of American Football (homepage)". Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- @frntofficesport (April 17, 2019). "BREAKING: @TheAAF has filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy" (Tweet). Retrieved April 17, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Florio, Mike (April 12, 2019). "AAF refuses to release players for possible CFL employment". NBCSports.com. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
- @BenKercheval (April 18, 2019). "Yes, to correct a previous tweet, I am told by a source that #AAF players can sign with CFL teams. My apologies on not being up to date on that. That's the updated situation" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Danner, Patrick (May 23, 2019). "XFL wants to score bankrupt football league's assets stored in San Antonio warehouse". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
- "Former Arena League commissioner buys AAF equipment at auction". NBC Sports. July 8, 2019.
- "MAJOR LEAGUE FOOTBALL INC FORM 10-K: Filed 07/29/19 for the Period Ending 04/30/19". OTCMarkets.com. July 29, 2019.
- Wilson, Ryan (November 28, 2018). "Alliance of American Football QB Draft: Aaron Murray, Christian Hackenberg highlight QBs taken in AAF event". CBSSports.com. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
- "The Alliance of American Football sets final rosters". Alliance of American Football. January 29, 2019. Archived from the original on February 1, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
- Rovell, Darren (July 12, 2018). "AAF players to get 3-year, $250K contracts". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
- Florio, Mike (October 31, 2018). "AAF to conduct unusual draft process for allocating quarterbacks". Profootballtalk.com. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
- Gartland, Dan (March 20, 2018). "8-team XFL competitor plans to launch in February 2019". SI.com. Time, Inc. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
- "Alliance of American Football to kick off after Super Bowl". The Washington Post. March 20, 2018. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- Munz, Jason (February 7, 2019). "Sky judge and the world of tomorrow: A look at the AAF's notable rule differences". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- "AAF kicks off without kickoffs, but with SkyJudge". AP. February 5, 2019. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
- Goldberg, Jeff (January 28, 2019). "Safe to say, on-side conversion play will generate excitement". Alliance of American Football. Archived from the original on January 29, 2019. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
- AAF broadcast on CBS Sports Network, 3 March 2019
- "Alliance of American Football's SkyJudge might have prevented NFC Championship no-call". Associated Press. February 8, 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
- @MikePereira (February 11, 2019). "He will not get a fine and won't be penalized if he does it again. It is only a foul if a player deliberately throws it and hands it into stands. If a spiked ball bounces into the stands, no foul. It should not have been called" (Tweet). Retrieved March 27, 2019 – via Twitter.
- "How the AAF's strict "no souvenirs" rule claimed its first victim". Football Zebras. February 11, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- Spangler, Todd (March 20, 2018). "New Pro Football League Sets 2019 Debut With CBS Sports Pact". Variety. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
- "How the AAF Playoffs and Schedule Work". Bleacher Report. March 6, 2019. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
- Orr, Conor (May 1, 2019). "League on Fire: The Curious Rise and Spectacular Crash of the Alliance of American Football". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- Crupi, Anthony (September 10, 2018). "The Alliance of American Football bets on success where others have failed". Ad Age. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
Per terms of the deal, MGM also will invest in the AAF tech platform, ...
- Gleeson, Scott (September 11, 2018). "Alliance of American Football league, spring alternative to NFL, reveals gambling-focused strategy". USA TODAY. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
- Rovell, Darren (September 10, 2018). "AAF league to have enhanced in-game betting". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
- Brent Schrotenboer and Kevin Allen (February 22, 2019). "Why AAF investor sees long lifespan for new football league". USA Today. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
- Rovell, Darren (April 6, 2019). "Sources: Tom Dundon Doesn't Own AAF's Gambling-Forward Tech Arm". The Action Network. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
- Florio, Mike (September 1, 2018). "XFL sends up first salvo in looming AAF feud". ProFootballTalk.com. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
- Barnett, Zach (February 13, 2019). "Sources: AAF coaching salaries are better than you might think".
- "Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon invests $250M in AAF". ESPN.com. February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- Glenn, David (February 18, 2019). "NHL owner rescues fledgling AAF with much-needed cash infusion". The Athletic. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- "AAF gets $250 million investment from Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon, dismisses report of financial difficulty". CBS Sports. CBS Interactive. February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- Kaplan, Daniel (February 25, 2019). "Tom Dundon Confirms Incremental $250M Investment In AAF". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
- "Sources: Dundon Has Committed, Not Yet Invested, Money In AAF". www.sportsbusinessdaily.com.
- Rovell, Darren (April 2, 2019). "Rovell: AAF Suspending Football Operations Immediately". The Action Network. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- Orr, Conor (May 1, 2019). "The Curious Rise and Spectacular Crash of the Alliance of American Football". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- "Will NFL teams loan QBs and other players to AAF? Informal talks ongoing". USA TODAY. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
- Allen, Kevin; Jones, Mike (March 27, 2019). "Majority investor: Alliance of American Football in danger of being discontinued without NFLPA help". USA Today. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
- Florio, Mike (March 27, 2019). "AAF may not make it beyond this weekend". Profootballtalk.com. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
- Bianchi, Mike (April 1, 2019). "Orlando Apollos coach Steve Spurrier refuses to believe reports AAF could fold this week". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- Williams, Charean (February 25, 2019). "AAF disputes league was Robert Vanech's idea". NBC Sports. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
- Rothstein, Michael (February 25, 2019). "AAF being sued by man claiming the league was his idea". ESPN. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
- Bianchi, Mike (February 20, 2019). "Orlando Apollos will start practicing in Georgia because of Florida workers' compensation laws". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
- Fernandez, Gabe (April 10, 2019). "Lawsuit Claims The AAF Intentionally Misled And Defrauded Its Players". Deadspin. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
- Savidge, Nico (April 10, 2019). "Former AAF employees allege defunct pro football league violated labor law". The Mercury News. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
- DeSilva, Matthew (May 3, 2019). "How the collapse of a football league is tied to crypto's biggest banking scandal". Quartz. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- "Leadership". aaf.com. Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
- Balakrishnan, Anita; Salinas, Sara (March 20, 2018). "Peter Thiel's venture firm is backing a new football league to rival the NFL". CNBC. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
- Florio, Mike (December 20, 2016). "CBS unveils AAF broadcast teams". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
- Feldman, Jacob (March 14, 2019). "CBS Adds More Alliance of American Football Games to Broadcast Schedule". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- Dachman, Jason. "At Dawn of AAF Era, Technological Innovation Drives Live Productions". Sports Video Group. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
- Tornoe, Rob. "NBC Sports Philadelphia's studio shows will soon look a lot different". Philly.com. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- Steinberg, Leigh (July 26, 2018). "AAF: The League That Fills The NFL Offseason Void". Forbes. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
- Ourand, John (January 31, 2019). "Alliance Of American Football Signs Deals With Turner, NFL Net". SportsBusiness Daily. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
- Media, N. F. L. (February 7, 2019). ".@nflnetwork's coverage of @TheAAF kicks off Sunday at 8p ET w/ the Salt Lake City Stallions vs. Arizona Hotshots. @DanHellie @MJD & Marvin Lewis are on the call". Retrieved February 12, 2019.
- "Marvin Lewis, Terrell Davis and Andrew Siciliano among new names revealed for AAF broadcasts". Awful Announcing. February 2, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
- Alper, Josh. "SiriusXM will air AAF games". NBCsports.com. NBC Universal. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
- "SAN ANTONIO COMMANDERS ANNOUNCE ESPN SAN ANTONIO 1250 AM/94.5 FM AS OFFICIAL RADIO PARTNER". ESPN San Antonio. January 7, 2019. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
- "XTRA 1360 to be Fleet's flagship station in 2019". aaf.com. Archived from the original on February 9, 2019. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
- "Orlando Apollo's radio deal". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
- Smith, Michael David (February 10, 2019). "AAF off to a solid start". Profootballtalk.com. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
- Kirshner, Alex (February 11, 2019). "5 things the NFL and college football could learn from the first weekend of the AAF". SB Nation. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
- "From his Hollywood Haven, Julian Edelman reflects on LIII MVP, his path and being a perfect Patriot § 10 Things I Think I Think". Football Morning in America. NBC Sports. February 11, 2019. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
- "TV Ratings Saturday: AAF Football invades the chart, NBA falters". TV by the Numbers. February 10, 2019. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
- "SKEDBALL: Weekly Sports TV Ratings 2.11-2.17.2019 - Showbuzz Daily". www.showbuzzdaily.com.
- "TNT adds March 9 and March 23 AAF games after AAF ratings beat some NHL and MLS broadcasts". Awful Announcing. March 5, 2019. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
- "CBS is adding two more AAF games to its broadcast network". Awful Announcing. March 14, 2019. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- Haislop, Tadd (April 3, 2019). "Why is the AAF folding? Who to blame for Alliance of American Football's collapse". Sporting News. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- Kercheval, Ben (April 3, 2019). "AAF 2019: What went wrong and what happens next following league's sudden shutdown". CBS Sports. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- McCann, Michael (April 2, 2019). "Chaos and Fallout: The Legal Impact of the AAF's Potential Collapse". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- Redford, Patrick (April 4, 2019). "The AAF's Sudden Collapse Left Players High And Dry With Bills For Housing And Injuries". Deadspin. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- Schleifer, Theodore (April 2, 2019). "It turns out Silicon Valley cannot disrupt the National Football League". Recode. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- Sherman, Rodger (April 4, 2019). "The AAF Failed Because All Minor League Football Does". The Ringer. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- Michael Rothstein, Seth Wickersham (June 13, 2019). "Inside the short, unhappy life of the Alliance of American Football". ESPN. Retrieved June 13, 2019.