American Arena League

The American Arena League (AAL) is a minor professional indoor football league that began playing in 2018. The league was initiated by a merger between Arena Pro Football (APF) and the Can-Am Indoor Football League (Can-Am), although the AAL only claimed the APF history after the former Can-Am founder left the league. Teams from both leagues, new teams, and later teams from Supreme Indoor Football and National Arena League constituted the new league for its inaugural season.[2]

American Arena League
Current season, competition or edition:
2021 American Arena League season
SportIndoor football
FounderTony Zefiretto, Jack Bowman, Tim Viens
Inaugural season2018
Owner(s)AJ Roque and Jermaine Sanders
CommissionerKevin O'Hanlon
No. of teams11
CountryUnited States
Most recent
North Texas Bulls (2021)[1]
American Indoor Football
Official website


Arena Pro Football and the Can-Am Indoor Football League

Arena Pro Football (APF) was originally announced as the National Arena Football League in 2016 following the dissolution of American Indoor Football (AIF).[3] The league announced their first three teams as the Birmingham Outlawz, Myrtle Beach Sharks, and Savannah Coastal Outlaws. The league changed its name to Arena Pro Football (APF) in September 2016 after the Birmingham Outlawz accidentally posted the NAFL logo of the proposed North American Football League as their league logo. They added expansion teams in the Cape Fear Wildcats and Richmond Roughriders. The league also added the Florida Tarpons and River City Raiders from the recently defunct AIF. The Central Florida Jaguars and Palm Beach Phantoms were also listed as members until both moved to the Jaguars' self-created league, Elite Indoor Football Conference. The Cape Fear Wildcats were later postponed to a presumed 2018 season. The Birmingham Outlawz later changed their name back to Alabama Outlawz after they failed to secure an arena in Birmingham. The Myrtle Beach Sharks announced they had joined the outdoor Gridiron Developmental Football League on March 7 and had left the APF.[4]

The Can-Am Indoor Football League (Can-Am) was also formed from the remnants of the AIF when Tim Viens, the owner of the announced 2017 AIF expansion team Vermont Bucks, started his own league. With Viens serving as league president, the league added the Buffalo Blitz and Ontario-Niagara Spartans (both run by owners of established semi-professional teams, the Buffalo Gladiators and Steel City Patriots, respectively), as well as the Connecticut Chiefs (travel-only), Glens Falls Gladiators (travel-only), Niagara Falls Thunder (also operated by the Blitz ownership), New Hampshire Brigade, Rochester Kings, as well as Viens' Vermont Bucks. During the Can-Am's first few months, it added and removed the Baltimore Lightning,[5] Cleveland Saints, an unnamed team in Erie, Pennsylvania, Lockport Lightning, and Reading Raptors as league members without playing a game.

Prior to its first season, the APF formed several agreements with other upstart leagues. The first affiliation was with United States Indoor Football, a summer league that was to play all its games in Savannah, Georgia, and operated by the Coastal Outlaws (the organization that also runs the Savannah Coastal Outlaws). On November 3, 2016, the league announced inter-league play with the Central Florida Jaguars' Elite Indoor Football Conference.[6] However, all references to the EIFC were removed in January 2017 even after the Jaguars and Phantoms had attended the December 2016 league meetings as APF affiliates. None of these inter-league games were ever played and the EIFC played one weekend outdoors before ceasing operations.

On November 14, 2016, both the APF and Can-Am announced an alliance with each other where the playoff champions of each league meet for an inter-league championship game. During the two league's first seasons, the Can-Am's founder Tim Viens announced on April 14, 2017, that for the 2018 season the APF and Can-Am leagues would officially merge and create the American Arena League, which the APF would later confirm.[2][7] The championship between the two leagues was never played or referenced by either league again.

The APF played its first game on March 10, 2017, between the Alabama Outlawz and Florida Tarpons, which Florida won, 42–18. After playing three away games, all losses, the Alabama Outlawz canceled their first home game. On April 26, they then announced that they had canceled the rest of their season, which had originally been scheduled as all home games. The Myrtle Beach Sharks appeared to have rejoined the APF mid-season; however, it was for away games only and the team called the Sharks were wearing the defunct Myrtle Beach Freedom uniforms. After playing all five home games to open the season, the River City Raiders declined to travel to play the Richmond Roughriders for their scheduled May 20 game. The Roughriders were able to secure an opponent in the Atlanta Furious, a team that primarily played in the Southern Steam's Elite Indoor Football (although many of those league's games were played outdoors). The only other away games the Raiders had originally been scheduled for was one of the canceled Alabama home games and against the Myrtle Beach Sharks. By the end of the season, the only remaining teams operating were the Richmond Roughriders and Florida Tarpons. The Roughriders defeated the Tarpons, 74–61, in the championship game on June 10, 2017, after the Roughriders finished the season undefeated.[8]

The Can-Am also had significant inconsistencies in team members and scheduling. By the end of the season, there were only five teams remaining: the Buffalo Blitz, Glens Falls Gladiators (as a travel-only team, had a short winless season and were disqualified from playoff participation), Rochester Kings, Vermont Bucks, and the Tim Viens-owned Boston Blaze, a travel-only team that only played the second half of the season. The Rochester Kings finished their season undefeated with the Vermont Bucks and Boston Blaze each losing one game (Vermont lost to Boston, and Boston to Rochester). The Kings announced they were to host the Buffalo Blitz in the Western Division championship on June 3. The Bucks were to host the Boston Blaze in the Eastern Division championship. However, the Bucks later announced they were facing the semi-professional Central Penn Chargers, a team that primarily played in the Mid-Atlantic Indoor Football League, in their postseason game.[9] The Kings defeated the Blitz 64–12 and the Bucks defeated the Chargers 46–6. The Bucks defeated the Kings in Rochester for the league championship on June 12 by a score of 61–41.

First season

In June 2017, the now-merged league announced its inaugural members over its social media page. From the Can-Am, the league added the Boston Blaze, Buffalo Blitz, Connecticut Chiefs, Glens Falls Gladiators, Rochester Kings, Vermont Bucks, and the Central Penn Chargers (the team that played in Can-Am playoff game against the Bucks). From the APF, the league added the Florida Tarpons, Richmond Roughriders, and the announced expansion team Hampton Roads Riptides.[10][11] The Roughriders had previously stated that they were looking to join to the Indoor Football League (IFL) or the National Arena League (NAL) and that they had not committed to joining the AAL yet. The AAL then deleted all references of the Roughriders from their social media posts within two days and the Roughriders later announced they had joined the National Arena League (NAL). By early July, the only teams that had not been deleted from their social media posts were the Bucks, Gladiators, Kings, and Tarpons. On July 13, the league added the Georgia Doom of Macon, Georgia. The Doom organization had played a few games as a travel team fill-in for the Dayton Wolfpack of the NAL the previous season.[12][13][14] The league also added the Triangle Torch and Upstate Dragons after they previously played in Supreme Indoor Football (SIF),[15] with the SIF's Cape Fear Heroes (the ownership group that operates the SIF) joining the AAL shortly thereafter.[16] By September 13, the Roughriders returned to the AAL when the NAL had increased its criteria for new teams. On September 20, the High Country Grizzlies, formerly of the NAL, also joined the AAL.[17]

By fall 2017, the teams began releasing their inaugural schedules and expansion teams, the Atlanta Havoc (owned by league president Viens) and the Carolina Energy, were added to the league. The AAL also added three affiliated teams that would fill in for home games of the league members and count for league games: the Austin Wild (formerly the Cap City Bulls of Austin, Texas, which had played as a traveling team in the SIF during 2017), the New England Cavalry (operated by the outdoor semi-professional organization out of Concord, New Hampshire), and the Savannah Coastal Outlaws (originally announced as an AAL member from the APF merger). In December 2017, another previously announced NAL expansion team, the Jersey Flight of Trenton, New Jersey, was added to the league. In January 2018, Tim Viens sold his first team, the Vermont Bucks, to solely operate the Atlanta Havoc. The new Bucks' owners then folded the team a month later and another new team, called the Peach State Cats (originally announced in the semi-professional Elite Indoor Football), was added but were only scheduled for away games. The Glens Falls Gladiators ceased operations just prior to the season, while the Coastal Outlaws would also never play an AAL game with many of their games replaced with the Carolina Cowboyz, also originally of Elite Indoor Football, to bring the league to twelve members and three affiliates to start the 2018 season.

Partway through the first AAL season, co-founder Tim Viens resigned from his positions within the league on April 14, 2018, and would also no longer be involved with his team, the Atlanta Havoc.[18] The league then moved their website and retroactively claimed to have been founded as Arena Pro Football and changed its name when the Can-Am teams joined.[19][20] The league continued to have scheduling issues and canceled games, leading to the Florida Tarpons,[21] East Carolina Torch (formerly the Triangle Torch until they were forced to relocate), and Upstate Dragons[22] choosing to end their seasons early. The last Can-Am team, the Rochester Kings, also appeared to have ceased playing league games altogether during the season. The Georgia Doom defeated both the league-leading teams, the Atlanta Havoc and Richmond Roughriders, but then chose not to participate in the playoffs.[23] The Havoc went on to win the championship over the top-seeded Roughriders 58–50.

Shortly after the 2018 season ended, the Atlanta Havoc announced their relocation to Florence, South Carolina, as the Carolina Havoc and that they would host the All-Star Game at their new arena. The AAL then announced the game would be broadcast on ESPN3 with Mick Moninghoff as play-by-play commentator on August 25. The game was held and the Stripes defeated the Stars by a score of 34–29, but the game was broadcast on Facebook instead and all references to their ESPN3 announcement were taken down on game day.[24]


On August 15, 2018, Richmond Roughriders' owner Gregg Fornario announced his intentions of creating a new league called Northern Arena Football (NAF).[25] His Roughriders team, despite the possibility of losing its home arena in Richmond for 2019, was not initially planning on leaving the AAL with the NAF only having teams north of the Maryland-Pennsylvania border.[26] The AAL affiliate team, the New England Cavalry, were the first team added to the NAF. However, by August 28, Fornario had rebranded the new league as Professional Arena Football (PAF) with multiple divisions, Northern Arena Football and Southern Arena Football,[27] and the Roughriders were announced as part of Professional Arena Football on August 30, leaving the AAL.[28]

By September 2018, the AAL confirmed five teams were returning for a 2019 season: the Cape Fear Heroes, Carolina Energy, Georgia Doom, High Country Grizzlies, and Peach State Cats (with the Cats relocating to Athens, Georgia, and no longer a travel-only team).[29] The Florida Tarpons left the league and formed a new Florida-based league while rebranding as the Lakeland Tarpons. The defending champion Carolina Havoc later announced they would remain in the league. The Roughriders returned to AAL, now as the Wheeling-based West Virginia Roughriders, after Fornario's plans for the PAF fell through.[30] On December 12, 2018, the league announced its 2019 alignment split into a four-team Northern Division and an eight-team Southern Division. The league also announced the return of the Jersey Flight, as well as the additions of the Carolina Cowboyz (now full-time members with a home arena in Pendleton, South Carolina), the traveling team Carolina Predators, the New England Bobcats (formerly of Elite Indoor Football), and the Burgh Defenders (Pittsburgh). The AAL then split the Southern Division into a Southern and Mid-Atlantic Division prior to the scheduled release. In January 2019, the league then added a Midwest Division composed of three teams that had been in the developmental Midwest Professional Indoor Football (MPIF): the Chicago Aztecs, Indianapolis Enforcers, and West Michigan Ironmen.[31] Less than a month prior to the start of the 2019 season, the High Country Grizzlies ceased operations and the Chicago Aztecs withdrew for the season reducing the league to 13 teams. The Georgia Doom and New England Bobcats later folded during the season. There were many other canceled or rescheduled home games either due to arena issues or the away team not traveling.

On April 27, 2019, league co-founder and president Jack Bowman died after an illness and the league championship was then named the Jack Bowman Trophy.[32] The Carolina Energy traveled to face the West Virginia Roughriders for the newly renamed championship on June 29, and the Roughriders won 55–29. After the season, Fornario again stated he was removing the Roughriders from the AAL.[33] The Roughriders, as well as the Jersey Flight, were accepted to join the National Arena League (NAL) for the 2020 season. The league also lost the Burgh Defenders (removed from league), Carolina Havoc (loss of lease), and Peach State Cats (left league).

2020–2021: COVID-19 pandemic

The AAL announced several new teams for the 2020 season including the Louisville Xtreme, Music City Fire,[34] Pennsylvania Copperheads,[35] Pennsylvania Union,[36] South Florida Thunder (as a travel-only team), and the Tampa Bay Tornadoes.[37] The league also merged with the semiprofessional Mid-Atlantic Indoor Football League, adding the Central Penn Chargers, Jersey Bearcats, Maryland Eagles, Reading Raptors, and Western Maryland Warriors. However, before the season could start, most venues were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the season was subsequently cancelled. During the following offseason, the league lost the Louisville Xtreme and Tampa Bay Tornadoes to the NAL without the teams playing a game in the AAL.

By December 2020, the league had not confirmed any new teams and repeatedly stated it would not announce any 2021 season plans or teams until there were further developments in regards to teams being able to actually play due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.[38][39][40] However, several teams have announced they would be joining the league in 2021. In September 2020, a new team called the West Texas Buccaneers in El Paso, Texas, announced itself as a league member of a Texas-based division, along with several other potential cities for the 2021 season.[41] New Texas teams called the San Antonio Gunslingers[42] and Allen Tiger-Cats then announced they were joining the AAL. The Topeka Thundercats then announced they would join the AAL in a new Midwest-based division.[43][44] In December, the league announced that some of the teams that had announced themselves had already been evaluated and were not members of the AAL.[45]

The league then updated its website in December 2020 with a list of 17 teams in three divisions for the 2021 season, including Allen, San Antonio, and El Paso. It also re-added the Austin Wild and Tampa Bay Tornadoes, as well as new teams in the Chicago Power, North Texas Bulls, Mississippi Raiders, and St. Louis Bandits. Previously listed 2020 teams, the Carolina Cowboyz, Central Penn Chargers, Maryland Eagles, South Florida Thunder, and Western Maryland Warriors were no longer listed as members.[46] The Music City Fire remained listed as a member, but were not scheduled to play any games. Allen was removed in January 2021 and replaced with a team called the Texas Takeover based in Fort Worth, which was also removed in February.[47] The season started with two games on March 13, 2021. Reading left the league March 27 without playing a game. St. Louis withdrew from the season in May after two league games played citing COVID-19 concerns.[48] Tampa Bay did not play its final three scheduled games.

The league announced it would not have a championship game and would instead name three division champions.[49] The East Division champion Charlotte Thunder and West Division champion North Texas Bulls then scheduled their own league championship game regardless of the league's approval; the Midwest Division champion West Michigan Ironmen were not involved.

In June 2021, it was reported that league president and commissioner Tony Zefiretto had sold the league to the ownership of the Jersey Bearcats and Indianapolis Enforcers.[50] The new ownership reportedly approved of the game between the Thunder and Bulls,[51] which was won by the North Texas Bulls 60–43 on June 26.[52]

2021–present: New ownership

After the 2021 season concluded, four members of the East Division (Carolina Predators, Tampa Bay Tornadoes, Pennsylvania Union and Mississippi Raiders) announced that they would leave the AAL to form new league called Arena Indoor Football Alliance.[53] The Charlotte Thunder left to form their own league,[54] the North Texas Bulls left to join the new Texas-based Arena Football Association,[55] and the San Antonio Gunslingers were announced as an expansion team in the NAL.[56]

In December 2021, the new ownership led by AJ Roque and Jermaine Sanders launched the new website for league following the completion of the sale from Tony Zefiretto.[57] They then hired Kevin O'Hanlon as commissioner.[58] They announced they would be launching an AAL development league in 2022 called "American Arena League 2".[59]


2021 members

As of July 2021. Italics represent travel-only teams.

DivisionTeamLocationArenaCapacityFoundedJoinedHead coach
East Charlotte ThunderCharlotte, North CarolinaBojangles Coliseum8,60020172018Ervin Bryson
Jersey BearcatsJackson, New Jersey[60]Trophy Park[lower-alpha 1][60]20182020[lower-alpha 2]AJ Roque
Midwest Chicago PowerHoffman Estates, IllinoisGrand Sports Arena[60]2,50020202021
Indianapolis EnforcersCarmel, IndianaOff The Wall Sports20102019KC Carter
Music City FireFranklin, TennesseeWilliamson County AgExpo Park4,18020192020Joe Campbell
St. Louis BanditsSt. Charles, MissouriFamily Arena[60]9,75520202021Jeff Hunt
West Michigan IronmenMuskegon, MichiganMercy Health Arena4,00020162019Nate Smith
West Austin WildAustin, TexasTraveling team[60]2016[lower-alpha 3]2018[lower-alpha 4]Bennie King
North Texas BullsFort Worth, TexasFort Worth Convention Center13,50020202021Victor Mann
San Antonio GunslingersSan Antonio, TexasSan Antonio Rose Palace4,50020202021Quinton Humphrey Sr.
West Texas BuccaneersEl Paso, TexasEl Paso County Coliseum6,00020202021
  1. Pending post-pandemic opening.
  2. Joined in the 2020 season following the Mid-Atlantic Indoor Football League merger.
  3. Originally in SIF as the Cap City Bulls.
  4. Left for IAFL after 2018 season, returned to AAL in 2021.

Former AAL members

  • Atlanta Havoc – AAL in 2018; after one season where the team won the inaugural AAL championship playing out of Buford, Georgia, the Havoc relocated to Florence, South Carolina. After the season ended, the Florence Center unanimously voted to not renew the Havoc's lease for 2020 citing very low attendance and later the team folded.
  • Austin WildSupreme Indoor Football (SIF) travel team in 2017 as the Cap City Bulls; affiliate AAL member during the inaugural 2018 season as a travel-only team with announced intentions to become a full member in 2019. Withdrew from the league after the 2018 season. The Wild were listed as 2021 AAL members.
  • Burgh Defenders – Played part of the 2019 season; canceled some away games and other teams chose not to travel to their venue deeming it unsuitable.
  • Cape Fear Heroes – SIF team in 2017 and made the AAL playoffs in both the 2018 and 2019 seasons; withdrew from the league before the 2020 season due to the owner having health issues.
  • Carolina Cowboyz[61] – Joined as an affiliated travelling team in 2018, full member in 2019 based in Pendleton, South Carolina, at T. Ed Garrison Arena; not listed as a member prior to 2021 season.
  • Carolina Energy – Played in the 2018 and 2019 AAL seasons; sold and rebranded to Charlotte Thunder before the 2020 season.[62]
  • Carolina Havoc – Played the 2019 season at the Florence Center in South Carolina after relocating from Atlanta; the arena did not offer the team a renewal and the team ceased operations.
  • Carolina Predators – Played the 2019 and 2021 seasons as travelling team based in both North Carolina and South Carolina. Joined the newly formed American Indoor Football Alliance (AIFA) for 2022.[63]
  • East Carolina Torch – SIF team in 2017 as the Triangle Torch in Raleigh, North Carolina; moved to Kenansville, North Carolina, prior to 2018 AAL season; after a 2–3 start to the 2018 season and continued arena issues, the Torch canceled their last three games; removed from the league website in November 2018.
  • Florida Tarpons – APF team in 2017; played half their 2018 season in the AAL before they decided to stop traveling to away games and eventually canceled the remainder of the season. Started their own Florida-based league for the 2019 season, the A-League.
  • Georgia Doom – Joined the AAL after playing as a traveling team in the National Arena League in 2017; ceased operations during the 2019 AAL season.[64]
  • High Country Grizzlies – Joined from the National Arena League (NAL) for the 2018 AAL season; ceased operations in February 2019 prior to the start of the 2019 season.
  • New England Bobcats – Joined the AAL for the 2019 season after winning the Elite Indoor Football's 2018 championship; folded after four games into the 2019 season and a 2–2 record.[65]
  • Jersey Flight – Joined the AAL for the 2018 season after the original ownership failed to meet the financial obligations to join the National Arena League (NAL); was re-accepted to the NAL with the team under new ownership for the 2020 season.
  • Mississippi Raiders – Joined the AAL for the 2021 season; left to join the newly formed AIFA for 2022.[66]
  • New England Cavalry – Affiliate AAL member during the inaugural 2018 season as a travel-only team with announced intentions to become a full member in 2019. Withdrew from the league after the 2018 season. Announced as the first team to join the new league called Professional Arena Football (PAF). The PAF failed to launch and the Cavalry created the New England Arena League.
  • Peach State Cats – Originally announced as an Elite Indoor Football (EIF) team for the 2018 season, but joined the AAL as a travel-only team for the 2018 season when the Vermont Bucks folded just prior to the start of the AAL season; played in Athens, Georgia, for the 2019 season. Left the AAL to found their own league, called United Arena League, for 2020.
  • Pennsylvania Union – Joined the AAL prior to the eventually cancelled 2020 season; announced it was leaving the league after the 2021 season citing the level of competition in the league.[67] Joined the newly formed AIFA for 2022.[68]
  • Richmond Roughriders – Arena Pro Football (APF) team in 2017; AAL in 2018; after one season in the AAL, in which the Roughriders advanced to the championship game, they left the league when the owner started his own league, Professional Arena Football. The new league failed to materialize and the Roughriders returned to the AAL for the 2019 season as the West Virginia Roughriders.
  • Rochester Kings – Can-Am team in 2017 and only Can-Am team to play an AAL game after the merger to form the league in 2018; after a couple of home games, all remaining games with the Kings were removed from the schedule; removed from league website in November 2018.
  • Tampa Bay Tornadoes – Initially joined for the 2020 season that was then cancelled. Left for the National Arena League for the 2021 season, but rejoined the AAL instead and then did not finish the season. Joined the newly formed AIFA for 2022.[69]
  • Upstate Dragons – SIF travel team in 2017; played in Anderson, South Carolina, for the 2018 AAL season; after a 1–5 start to the season, the Dragons canceled all remaining games; removed from league website in November 2018.
  • West Virginia Roughriders – Won the 2019 championship and then the owner announced they were leaving the league for the second season in a row. Joined the National Arena League for the 2020 season.

Former listed AAL members

  • Allen Tiger-Cats[70] — Announced as a 2021 expansion team in a new West Division; removed from league website in January 2021.
  • Boston Blaze — Can-Am team in 2017; announced as one of the inaugural 2018 AAL teams. A paper franchise created to fill schedule dates by the owner of the Vermont Bucks, the Blaze, despite being listed among the teams included in the merger, had already ceased operations between the 2017 regular season and the playoffs.[9]
  • Buffalo Blitz — Can-Am team in 2017; announced as one of the inaugural 2018 AAL teams. Ceased operations before August 2017.
  • Central Penn Chargers — Members of the semi-pro Mid-Atlantic Indoor Football League (MAIFL); played in the Can-Am playoffs with the intention to join the AAL in 2018.[9] Dropped from the league before August 2017. Rejoined the AAL when the merged into the league for 2020, which was then cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not listed as member prior to the 2021 season.
  • Chicago Aztecs – Announced as one of the members joining from the semi-professional Midwest Professional Indoor Football (MPIFL) League for the 2019 season, but withdrew before playing.
  • Connecticut Chiefs — Can-Am team that played one game in the 2017 season before folding midseason; for reasons unknown, the team was included in the initial list of teams.
  • Glens Falls Gladiators — Can-Am travel team in 2017; announced as one of the inaugural 2018 AAL teams. However, two weeks before the season started, it was announced that they would not play in 2018 and planned to return to the AAL in 2019.[71][72]
  • Hampton Roads Riptides — Announced as an APF expansion team in 2017; announced as one of the inaugural 2018 AAL teams. Dropped from the league before August 2017.
  • Louisville Xtreme – Announced for the 2020 season that was then cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic; left to join the National Arena League for the 2021 season,[73] but joined the Indoor Football League instead.
  • Maryland Eagles – Joined the AAL from the MAIFL when it merged into the league for 2020, which was then cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not listed as member prior to the 2021 season.
  • Pennsylvania Copperheads — Announced as an expansion team for 2020;[35] suspended operations in February 2020 after the owner had a heart attack.[74]
  • Reading Raptors — Members of the semi-pro Mid-Atlantic Indoor Football League (MAIFL) that joined the AAL for the 2020 season via the announced league merger; 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Left the AAL for Elite Indoor Football (EIF) in March 2021 before playing any league games claiming issues with the AAL.[75]
  • Savannah Coastal Outlaws — APF team in 2017; announced as one of the inaugural 2018 AAL teams but were removed from the AAL website in September 2017; re-added as an AAL affiliated travel team in November 2017 but do not appear to have ever played in the league despite being credited with a loss. Appears to have been replaced by the Carolina Cowboyz, formerly of Elite Indoor Football, on the schedule.[76]
  • South Florida Thunder — Joined the AAL as a travel-only team based in West Palm Beach, Florida, not listed as member prior to the 2021 season.
  • Texas Takeover — Briefly listed as a member following the removal of the Allen Tiger-Cats, but also removed one month later.
  • Vermont Bucks — Can-Am team and league champions in 2017; announced as one of the inaugural 2018 AAL teams but have since folded due to financial difficulties. Original owner Tim Viens sold the team after the 2017 season local ownership after Viens started another AAL team called the Atlanta Havoc. A new ownership group obtained the brand and re-launched the team in the semi-professional New England Arena League in 2019.
  • Western Maryland Warriors — Joined the AAL from the MAIFL when it merged into the league for 2020, which was then cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not listed as member prior to the 2021 season.


2018Atlanta HavocRichmond Roughriders58-50
2019West Virginia RoughridersCarolina Energy55–29
2020Season canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021North Texas BullsCharlotte Thunder60–43


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  32. "AAL President Jack Bowman Passes Away". OurSports Central. April 27, 2019. Archived from the original on April 27, 2019. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  33. "West Virginia Roughriders Not to Return to AAL in 2020". Inside the Arena. August 2, 2019. Archived from the original on August 3, 2019. Retrieved August 3, 2019.
  34. "Music City Fire November 12, 2019, Instagram post". Instagram. November 12, 2019.
  35. "Pennsylvania Copperheads December 23, 2019, Facebook Post". Facebook. December 23, 2019.
  36. "Pennsylvania Union January 11, 2020, Facebook Post". Facebook. January 11, 2020.
  37. "Podcast Preview: Alton Walker: 'COVID was a curse and a blessing'". July 12, 2020.
  38. "AAL home page". AAL. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  39. "Thank you for your interest in the AAL. Due to the Corona virus, we are all experiencing unique situations in our society. Instead of updating our information daily, we have decided it best to be patient. Although we currently have teams under contract for next season and additional teams waiting arena approval, we do not want to prematurely announce a team when some states may determine that it is not safe to play in 2021. Thank you for your patience and please be safe!". Facebook. August 27, 2020.
  40. "Thank you for your interest in the AAL, in the "AAL Official" facebook page. and your patience as society is going through unique times. Most of the teams in the American Arena League have now received their arena dates for 2021. Some AAL teams have already received their 2021 Tentative Schedule. Again, instead of updating our information daily, we have decided it best to be patient. As we have all learned, some states have stricter regulations which has slowed arena discussions. We will release the 2021 schedule as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience. Please be safe!". Facebook. October 13, 2020.
  41. "El Paso will be home to a new American Arena League football team". El Paso Times. September 4, 2020.
  42. "San Antonio Gunslingers to kick off in the American Arena league in 2021". KTVN \date=July 15, 2020.
  43. "Indoor Football to return to Topeka in 2021". Facebook. October 7, 2020.
  44. "Coaching Announcement and League Announcement". Facebook. September 14, 2020.
  45. "Three months ago the AAL found professional ownership groups in Texas and added a Western Division. Since then, other owners have requested to join the AAL. For a variety of reasons, their requests were turned down. For the second time in a month, this weekend a team attempted to elevate their organization and claimed to play an AAL team. This is not accurate. American Arena League teams have their TENTATIVE Schedules which will be released soon. There will be no AAL games or scrimmages until March!! Please be safe!!". Facebook. December 6, 2020.
  46. "AAL homepage". AAL. Archived from the original on December 15, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  47. "AAL homepage". AAL. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  48. "St. Louis Bandits Fans: We want to thank you for a great first season but sadly our season got cut short due to Covid. Our game this week has been cancelled. Covid 19 has impacted everyone over the last year and we are sad to end so soon. We will be back next year bigger and better. Bandits Football". St. Louis Bandits Facebook. May 8, 2021.
  49. @ArenaAmerican (May 21, 2021). "Team owners in the AAL have decided to take the lead from Major League Baseball and implement the same format that will take place in minor league baseball. This season will conclude with Champions from the East, Mid-West and Western Divisions" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  50. "The Brand New American Arena League". June 11, 2021.
  51. "The AAL Will Crown A Champion in 2021". June 14, 2021.
  52. "No Bull About It". June 28, 2021.
  53. "Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report". July 12, 2021.
  54. "Get ready!!!!!!!!!!". Charlotte Thunder Facebook page. October 27, 2021.
  55. "Sponsors And Investors See Ground-Floor Opportunities With The Expansion Of Arena Football Association". PR Newswire. November 4, 2021.
  57. "The Brand New American Arena League". December 2, 2021. Retrieved December 3, 2021. External link in |website= (help)
  58. "Meet AAL's New Commissioner". December 2, 2021. Retrieved December 3, 2021. External link in |website= (help)
  59. "THE AAL BRINGS YOU THE AAL 2". December 7, 2021. Retrieved December 7, 2021. External link in |website= (help)
  60. "Teams". AAL. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  61. "Carolina Cowboyz". Archived from the original on March 3, 2019. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  62. "Charlotte Thunder February 28, 2020 Facebook post". Facebook. February 28, 2020.
  64. "Georgia Doom suspends operations for the rest of the season". WGXA. May 9, 2019. Archived from the original on May 9, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  65. "What's the Deal with the New England Bobcats?". AbsoluteArena. May 9, 2019.
  67. "The Union will not be a part of the AAL moving forward. As we continue to build our brand and improve as an organization, we desire to play in a situation that has the best competition possible. We thank the AAL for having us in 2021and wish the league and it's teams the best of luck in the future". Pennsylvania Union Facebook. June 2, 2021.
  70. "Tiger-Cats Official site". Allen Tiger-Cats. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020.
  71. "Glens Falls Gladiators To Return in 2019". Archived from the original on March 1, 2018. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  72. "Glen Falls Gladiators of American Arena League fold 2 weeks before start of season". March 1, 2018. Archived from the original on March 2, 2018. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  73. "Expansion Alert: Louisville Xtreme Joins The NAL". National Arena League. July 22, 2020.
  74. "AAL Facebook post February 5, 2020". Facebook. February 5, 2020.
  75. "Due to a total lack if transparency and integrity on the leagues behalf the Raptors will not be competing in the AAL. We have joined the EIF and will now be Kicking the Season off the 17th of April. The EIF has welcomed us with open arms and integrity we hope to forge ahead with them in the future and help them as much as they have helped us". Reading Raptors Facebook. March 27, 2021.
  76. "Havoc schedule change to Cowboys". Facebook. April 23, 2018. Archived from the original on April 24, 2018. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
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