Unpack The Cargo Nets, The Arena League Is Back

It was a sad day about a month ago when the Arena Football League formally declared bankruptcy, closed its doors and rolled up its green indoor carpeting. But while one arm of the world’s most exciting air-conditioned sports league was laid to rest, the other, smaller portion of the league was left in indoor sports purgatory. What was to become of AFL2?

Arena Football League

The junior league completed its season, but was left to ponder its fate when the AFL closed shop. But the AFL2, in essence, is officially back for 2010, and they’re calling it the AFL1 (ack, confusing). The new league will include a bunch of the old AFL2 teams (Spokane Shock!), plus a handful of defunct AFL squads who want to jump on board.

Which teams will be resurrected? We won’t know until the owners’ meetings on Monday. From THE ASSOCIATED PRESS:

The owners meetings are Monday morning, and they’re really going to line everything out on Monday morning as far as how the divisions go and what teams from the AFL are actually going to join Arena Football 1 and what teams from AF2 are going to join,” said Troy Thompson, director of operations for the Arkansas Twisters.

Arkansas Twisters! We’ve confirmed two!

“When the AFL went bankrupt and dissolved the AFL, because the af2 was an arm of the AFL, af2 in a sense was dissolved as well. This is basically the af2 reforming itself, and then from there, whatever they’re going to do with the remaining AFL teams that want to continue to play,” Thompson said.

When last we left the AFL, it was mired in $12 million of debt, with some individual franchises in danger of going under. Owners such as Jon Bon Jovi and Mike Ditka tried to drum up financial support, to no avail. But as the overall economy recovers, the AFL, like many companies, is coming back leaner and more modest. For one thing, the AFL1 will most likely adopt the AFL2’s model of paying all players the same salary.

The announcement did not come without humorous elements.

“It’s a higher level of football than the af2. It is going to be closely akin to the AFL,” said Kevin Maloney, spokesman for the Spokane Shock — winners of this year’s ArenaCup given to the af2 champions.

“It will be the best brand of arena football there is in the world.”

Um, OK.