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Archive for February 19, 2019

Feb. 19, 2019 — The quarter-billion dollar money pit and the concept of wealth

Earlier this week, it was revealed that a nascent tackle football league called the Alliance of American Football is requiring a bailout, having burned through its startup funding by the second week of its first season.

Indeed, it took Tom Dundon, the owner of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, to flash a quarter of a billion dollars to keep the eight-team circuit afloat. That’s “billion” with a “b,” folks.

I’m amazed, frankly, that in a sports culture which argues against the outside financing of leagues such as the WNBA, NWSL, or NPF, that a single owner with a lot of wealth can finance a football league which can’t even get worker’s compensation insurance for one of its eight teams.

Don’t believe me? Read this.

The current financial situation which has befallen the AAF is one which has befallen an alphabet soup of football leagues (USFL, XFL) which have formed to compete with the NFL.

And yet, since the merger of the American Football League into the NFL, none of these outdoor tackle football leagues have lasted to their fourth seasons. Some of them never made it off the drawing board.

All of this makes you wonder if Dundon, the man with the wealth to prop up the AAF, is the smartest guy in the room, now that he’s bought himself the chairmanship of the league.