While watching an indoor soccer game at Madison Square Garden, James Foster draws an outline of a miniature football field over a hockey rink on a piece of paper. from that drawing come the AFL.
The AFL debuts with a six-game regular season with four teams: the Chicago Bruisers, Denver Dynamite, Pittsburgh Gladiators and Washington Commandos. A crowd of 12,117 fans witness the inaugural game, a 48-46 victory for Pittsburgh over Washington.
Arena Bowl 1
Denver wins the first ArenaBowl, 45-16, over Pittsburgh. ArenaBowl 1 was aired nationally on ESPN and played in front of 13,232 fans.
The league expands
The League expands to eight teams, including the debut of the Orlando Predators.
Hall of Fame
The Arena Football Hall of Fame inducts its first class
The AFL makes its network-TV debut on ABC when ArenaBowl XII is viewed by more than two million fans. Orlando defeats Tampa Bay, 62-31, in front of 17,222 fans.
Arena Football adds blue-chip sponsors Ford Trucks and U.S. Army, and creates an internet partnership with nfl.com
Deal With NBC
The AFL and NBC announce a broadcast partnership. NBC will televise AFL games on Sundays, including the playoffs and ArenaBowl, beginning in 2003. As part of the agreement, the AFL will begin its 2003 season in February instead of April.
Partnership with Nike and Upper Deck
AFL announces a multi-year partnership with NIKE, the first-ever exclusive "head-to-toe" uniform supplier/apparel partnership in its history, and with Upper Deck, the first-ever pact between the AFL and a sports trading card and memorabilia company.
ESPN and the AFL enter into a five-year agreement that includes extensive multimedia rights and a minimum of 26 televised games per season, beginning in 2007. ESPN has also purchased a minority ownership stake in the AFL as part of the agreement that enhances ESPNs football programming lineup.
AFL fans are 71% male, are more likely to be african American and in the 35-44 age group. characteristic's of this demographic are a love of violence and football, also they have the need to be entertained.
After developing a unique economic model, the AFL reopens with a nationally televised broadcast on NFL Network.
NFL Network held the broadcast television rights the revived Arena Football League from 2010 to 2012. NFL Network broadcast a weekly Friday Night Football package every week at 8:00 ET, with the season running from March to August.
Deal with CBS
CBS Sports Network and the AFL sign a two-year television agreement and announce that ArenaBowl XXVI will air live on CBS Television.
The Arena Football League has signed new deals with Net10 Wireless serving as league's first title sponsor.