The 22-year-old Arena Football League announced Monday that it’s canceling its 2009 season to get its financial house in order.
League officials hope the AFL returns in 2010, according to press reports. But getting fans interested in the sport again after a one-year break could be tough. After all, the United States Football League never restarted after it suspended play in 1986.
The AFL’s woes show that the sports world isn’t recession-proof. Even the NFL, NBA and Nascar have laid off workers recently.
The AFL is one of many pro sports trying to capture the public’s attention. With basketball, hockey, football, baseball, soccer and other sports vying for a slice of consumer leisure spending, the pie just isn’t big enough.
The 16-team AFL lost money last year and has seen corporate sponsorships dwindle in recent months. Teams include the Chicago Rush, Los Angeles Avengers, Orlando Predators and Columbus Destroyers.