When the Alliance of American Football started, one question many people had was, 'How long will it last?' It appears the answer is eight weeks.
According to multiple reports the AAF has decided to suspend operations. Pro Football Talk broke the story Tuesday morning.
Majority owner Tom Dundon, who invested $250 million into the league earlier this season, has reportedly pulled funding in light of the AAF’s financial struggles. According to Pro Football Talk, the league needed $20 million to last through the end of its first year of existence.
Dundon had the option to pull funding, and reportedly did so after putting $70 million into the league.
League co-founder Bill Polian released a statement, published by ESPN and multiple other outlets stating his frustration with today's decision. Polian said in part, "I am extremely disappointed to learn Tom Dundon has decided to suspend all football operations of the Alliance of American Football".
Polian and Charlie Ebersol hoped to generate momentum over the course of two to three years in hopes of creating a partnership with the NFL. Dundon made headlines a week ago when he said the league would fold if the NFL did not provide young players to bolster the AAF's rosters.
There has been no official statement from the San Diego Fleet. When NBC 7 arrived at the team's facility at SDCCU Stadium a note was posted on a door saying the team was closed for the remainder of the day.
Team President Jeff Garner told XTRA 1360 that the league has ceased football operations, meaning they will no longer play their final two regular season games.
Fleet President Jeff Garner confirms to @XTRA1360 that the AAF has ceased football operations and that the team will not play the final two games of the regular season. — Jon Schaeffer (@jonschaeffer) April 2, 2019
The AAF brought professional football back to San Diego in the form of The Fleet. Mike Martz went 3-5 with three straight losses heading into week nine. The inaugural season was scheduled to last 10 weeks.
Last week Martz and Fleet General Manager Dave Boller downplayed a report that the league could soon fold, saying bonuses were included in last week’s paychecks.
The Fleet players were scheduled to practice and make Martz and the team available to the media this afternoon. That practice has been officially canceled.
After the news broke reporters in San Antonio were moved out of practice and off of team property. In Orlando, head coach Steve Spurrier addressed his regrets over the league ending and players losing their opportunity to pursue pro football careers.
San Diego was scheduled to visit Orlando Saturday, before wrapping up the season week 10 at SDCCU Stadium April 14 against Arizona.
Fans received an email Tuesday afternoon announcing the April 14 game has been canceled.