WikiNow lets you discover the news you care about, follow the topics that matter to you and share your favourite stories with your friends.

© WikiNow

The Arena Football League is a professional indoor American football in the United States. It was founded in 1987 by Jim Foster, making it the third longest-running professional football league in North America, after the Canadian Football League and the National Football League . The AFL plays a proprietary code known as arena football, a form of indoor American football played on a 66-by-28 yard field , with rules encouraging offensive performance, resulting in a faster-paced and higher-scoring game. The sport was invented in the early 1980s and patented by Foster, a former executive of the United States Football League and the NFL.

Arena Football League
Most recent season or competition:
2016 Arena Football League season
AFL Shield.png
Formerly Arena Football 1 (2010)
NET 10 Wireless AFL (2012–2014)
Sport Arena football
Founded 1986
Founder Jim Foster
Inaugural season 1987
Commissioner Scott Butera
No. of teams 5
Country United States
Headquarters Las Vegas, Nevada
Most recent
champion(s)
Philadelphia Soul (2nd title)
Most titles Tampa Bay Storm
& Arizona Rattlers (5 titles)
TV partner(s) CBS Sports Network,
ESPN, UDN, local tv broadcasts
Official website ArenaFootball.com

The Arena Football League (AFL) is a professional indoor American football in the United States. It was founded in 1987 by Jim Foster, making it the third longest-running professional football league in North America, after the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the National Football League (NFL). The AFL plays a proprietary code known as arena football, a form of indoor American football played on a 66-by-28 yard field (about a quarter of the surface area of an NFL field), with rules encouraging offensive performance, resulting in a faster-paced and higher-scoring game. The sport was invented in the early 1980s and patented by Foster, a former executive of the United States Football League (USFL) and the NFL.

From 2000 to 2009, the AFL had its own developmental league, the af2. The AFL played 22 seasons from 1987 to 2008; internal issues caused the league to cancel its 2009 season, though the af2 did play. Later that year both the AFL and af2 were dissolved and reorganized as a new corporation comprising teams from both leagues, and the AFL returned in 2010. The Arena Football League has its headquarters in Las Vegas. The league's average game attendance since returning in 2010 has been approximately 9,500.

The league has historically had a nationwide footprint and has been recognized as the most prominent professional indoor league in North America, offering higher payment than competing leagues. After the 2016 season, continuing a general pattern of contraction over the previous seasons, five of the eight teams either folded or left the league. The three remaining franchises, all based in the eastern United States, still intend on playing the 2017 season with two expansion teams rounding out the league to five teams, the smallest the league has been since 1989.