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Arena Football League
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Arena Football League

The Arena Football League was founded in 1987 as an American football indoor league. Attendance at AFL games in 2004 averaged about 12,000 people per game. The Arena Football League also maintains a minor league called af2.

The AFL was founded by Jim Foster, a former NFL and USFL executive. In fact, he had a contract in hand in 1983 to play an exhibition game on NBC, 20 years before the first regular season games appeared on that network. He abandoned the plan, though, when the USFL was formed, and did not return to his newly created sport until 1986, when he staged a "test game" in Rockford, Illinois between the Rockford Metros and the Chicago Politicians.

Beginning with the 2003 season, the Arena Football League made a deal with the NBC television network to televise league games. In conjunction with this, the league moved the beginning of the season from May to February (the week after the NFL's Super Bowl) and scheduled most of its games on Sunday instead of Friday or Saturday as it had in the past. The practice of playing one or two preseason exhibition games by each team prior to the start of the regular season was also discontinued at this time, and the regular season was extended from fourteen games, the length that it had been since 1996, to sixteen. The Arena Football League's championship game is called the ArenaBowl.

The Rules of the Game can be found on the Arena Football page.

2004 Teams


Eastern Division
Carolina Cobras (Charlotte; relocated from Raleigh in 2003)
Columbus Destroyers (relocated from Buffalo in 2004)
Dallas Desperados
New York Dragons (previously the Iowa Barnstormers)
Philadelphia Soul

Southern Division
Austin Wranglers
Georgia Force (previously the Nashville Kats)
New Orleans VooDoo
Orlando Predators
Tampa Bay Storm (previously the Pittsburgh Gladiators)


Central Division
Chicago Rush
Colorado Crush
Detroit Fury
Grand Rapids Rampage
Indiana Firebirds (formerly of Albany)

Western Division
Arizona Rattlers
Las Vegas Gladiators (formerly of New Jersey)
Los Angeles Avengers
San Jose SaberCats

Defunct teams

Anaheim Piranhas (1996-1997)
Charlotte Rage (1992-1996)
Chicago Bruisers (1987-1989)
Chicago Politicians (1986 "test game" only)
Cincinnati Rockers (1992-1993)
Columbus Thunderbolts (1991) (later, Cleveland Thunderbolts) (1992-1994)
Connecticut Coyotes (1995-1996)
Dallas Texans (1990-1993)
Denver Dynamite (1987, 1989-1991)
Detroit Drive (1988-1993)
Florida Bobcats (1996-2001)
Fort Worth Cavalry (1994)
Houston Thunderbears (1998-2001)
Las Vegas Sting (1994-1995)
Los Angeles Cobras (1988)
Massachusetts Marauders (1994)
Miami Hooters (1993-1995)
Milwaukee Mustangs (1994-2001)
Minnesota Fighting Pike (1996)
Memphis Pharaohs (1995-1996)
New England Steamrollers (1988)
New Orleans Night (1991-1992)
New York Knights (1988)
New York CityHawks (1997-1998) (later, New England Sea Wolves)(1999-2000)
Oklahoma Wranglers (2001-2002)
Pittsburgh Gladiators (1987-1990; no affiliation with current Las Vegas club)
Portland Forest Dragons (1997-2000)
Rockford Metros (1986 "test game" only)
Sacramento Attack (1992)
San Antonio Force (1992)
St. Louis Stampede (1995-1996)
Texas Terror (1996-1997)
Toronto Phantoms (2001-2002)
Washington Commandos (1987, 1989-1990; also known as Maryland Commandos)

See: List of leagues of American football

External links