Jul 17, 2019

Arena Football League seeks major capital raise

Kendall Baker, author of Sports

Photo: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Arena Football League is in the middle of a major capital raise, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: This comes on the heels of the AFL switching to a single-entity structure, which makes it a more attractive investment opportunity (investing in a league rather than a single team).

Details: The AFL, which has been around since 1987, is currently backed by a group of investors that includes Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the owners of the Washington Wizards and Capitals.

  • After years of contraction, the league expanded to two new markets this season: Atlantic City and Columbus (previously had a team from 1999–2008).

Current standings: The top four teams advance to the playoffs, which begin July 26. Each series will be played in a home-and-home format.

  1. Albany Empire (9-2)
  2. Philadelphia Soul (7-4)
  3. Washington Valor (6-5)
  4. Baltimore Brigade (6-5)
  5. Atlantic City Blackjacks (4-7)
  6. Columbus Destroyers (1-10)

What's next: Moving forward, the goal is to add two franchises per year for three years with an emphasis on markets with legal sports betting or pending legislation, sources tell Axios.

Go deeper

George Floyd updates

Protesters gather north of Lafayette Square near the White House during a demonstration against racism and police brutality, in Washington, D.C. on Saturday evening. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have been rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events on Saturday.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct. A memorial service was held for Floyd in Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor him until sunset.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 6,889,889 — Total deaths: 399,642 — Total recoveries — 3,085,326Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 1,920,061 — Total deaths: 109,802 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.
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In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.