Arena Football League Announces Return, Relaunch Date

Feb 3, 2023, 2:16 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – The Arena Football League announced that it will return after a multi-year absence and resume play in 2024.

Arena Football League to return in 2024

On February 1, the league announced that it would relaunch in a year under new leadership.

“Today, the Arena Football League (AFL) has announced that it will be relaunching under new leadership with plans to formally return to the gridiron in 2024. The league will resume operations under the stewardship of investment group F1 Sports & Entertainment, which purchased the rights to the AFL in January 2022. The league’s board of directors will include Chairman Chris Chetty, President Anthony Rossi and President of Operations Shan Singh and the executive leadership team will be led by Commissioner Lee A. Hutton III, Deputy Commissioner Travelle Gaines, President of Entertainment Tuo Clark and Executive Vice President Curt Feldtkeller.”

The AFL will return with 16 teams and play a 10-game regular season schedule prior to a postseason.

“We are elated to come out of hibernation and make this announcement official,” Rossi said in a statement. “Our objective when we acquired the AFL was to bring back a storied brand that deserved to be revived and showcased again, globally.

This edition of arena football will be led by the AFL’s new commissioner Lee A. Hutton III. Hutton’s charge is historical as he is the first Black commissioner to lead a professional sports league in the United States of America.

“The Arena Football League brand has always sat at the promontory of indoor football by offering gridiron entertainment, fast action, and iron tough athletes in conjunction with delivering a family fun fan experience that uniquely engages the pig skin enthusiast,” Hutton said in a statement. “Ultimately, the professional sports brand speaks for itself and is proud to announce, ‘We are back!’”

The first version of the Arena Football League was formed in 1986 and began competition a year later.

AFL 1.0 operated until 2008. The league returned in 2010 under a different format. The 2.0 edition of the AFL lasted until 2019.

Arena Football in Utah

The Beehive State was home to AFL’s Utah Blaze and Utah Valley Thunder. The first version of the Blaze played from 2008-10 at EnergySolutions Arena, currently known as Vivint Arena. In 2009, the 2.0 edition of the Blaze originated as the Utah Valley Thunder of the American Indoor Football Association. The Thunder played at the McKay Events center on the campus of Utah Valley in Orem.

RELATED: In Between Eras: Delta Center’s History As EnergySolutions, Vivint Arena

After the league’s return in 2010, the Blaze opened play at the Maverick Center in West Valley City. From 2011-13, the Blaze’s home games were at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. The organization folded in 2013.

The Blaze made the postseason five times during their time as a franchise.

Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for and co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).


Brian Preece

Ten Potential LA Angels You Could See In Salt Lake For 2023

It seems like just yesterday that the Salt Lake Bees 2022 season came to an end with a 3-2 loss against Oklahoma City.
16 hours ago
Tim Reynolds, AP

NBA, Players Reach Deal For A New Collective Bargaining Agreement

The most financially successful era in NBA history will continue uninterrupted for at least six more years.
16 hours ago
Tim Reynolds, AP

Dwyane Wade Officially Announced As Member Of 2023 Hall Of Fame Class

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame made it official, with three of the NBA’s all-time greats as the headliners of the 2023 class.
16 hours ago
Kyle Ireland

Hodgson’s Kicks Lift Utah Warriors To Comeback Win Over Free Jacks

The Utah Warriors came back in the second half with a pair of kicks from Joel Hodgson and beat the visiting New England Free Jacks.
2 days ago
BYU Football, Spring Scrimmage, Jake Retzlaff...
Mitch Harper

BYU Football Held ‘Boring’ Scrimmage For TV Cameras

BYU football held a spring scrimmage that led to coaches not wanting to show much.
2 days ago
Walker Kessler #24 of the Utah Jazz goes over Blake Griffin #91 of the Boston Celtics...
Ben Anderson

Jazz Drop Game To Celtics, Fail To Make Up Playoff Ground

The Utah Jazz fell to the Boston Celtics 122-114 and were unable to make up ground in the Western Conference Playoff race. 
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
Arena Football League Announces Return, Relaunch Date