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Arena Football League facts for kids

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Arena football Kansas City wide shot
An Arena Football stadium

The Arena Football League (or AFL) is an American football league in the United States that ran from 1987 to 2008, but has since then came back in 2010. After it ended, another league like it started in 2010, called Arena Football 1. Some, but not all, of the AFL teams joined Arena Football 1. The league later changed its name to the Arena Football League. There'll be 5 teams in 2017.

Unlike what people in this league call the outdoor league (the NFL), Arena football is played in an smaller arena. Arena Football is played with only 8 players on a team, not 11 like the NFL.


Team City Arena Founded Joined
Baltimore Baltimore Royal Farms Arena 2017
Cleveland Gladiators Cleveland Quicken Loans Arena 1997
Philadelphia Soul Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wells Fargo Center 2004
Tampa Bay Storm Tampa, Florida Amalie Arena 1987
Washington Valor Washington, D.C. Verizon Center 2017


The Arena Football League has had many teams join and leave the league. Every year, there has been at least one team which did not play with the same name as the year before.

Year # of Teams New Teams Folded Teams Suspended Teams Returning Teams Relocated Teams Name Changes
1987 4 Chicago Bruisers
Denver Dynamite
Pittsburgh Gladiators
Washington Commandos
1988 6 Detroit Drive
Los Angeles Cobras
New England Steamrollers
New York Knights
Denver Dynamite
Washington Commandos
1989 5 Los Angeles Cobras
New England Steamrollers
New York Knights
Denver Dynamite
Maryland Commandos
1990 6 Albany Firebirds
Dallas Texans
Chicago Bruisers Washington Commandos
(from Maryland)
1991 8 Columbus Thunderbolts
New Orleans Night
Orlando Predators
Washington Commandos Pittsburgh → Tampa Bay Storm
1992 12 Arizona Rattlers
Charlotte Rage
Cincinnati Rockers
Sacramento Attack
San Antonio Force
Denver Dynamite Columbus → Cleveland Thunderbolts
1993 10 New Orleans Night
San Antonio Force
Sacramento → Miami Hooters
1994 11 Fort Worth Cavalry
Las Vegas Sting
Milwaukee Mustangs
Cincinnati Rockers
Dallas Texans
Detroit → Massachusetts Marauders
1995 13 Connecticut Coyotes
Iowa Barnstormers
Memphis Pharaohs
St. Louis Stampede
San Jose SaberCats
Cleveland Thunderbolts Massachusetts Marauders
Fort Worth Cavalry
1996 15 Texas Terror Las Vegas → Anaheim Piranhas
Fort Worth → Minnesota Fighting Pike
(dormant from 1995)
Florida Bobcats
(from Miami Hooters)
1997 14 Nashville Kats
New Jersey Red Dogs
New York CityHawks
Charlotte Rage
Connecticut Coyotes
Minnesota Fighting Pike
St. Louis Stampede
Memphis → Portland Forest Dragons
1998 14 Anaheim Piranhas Massachusetts Marauders → Grand Rapids Rampage
(dormant for three years)
Houston Thunderbears
(from Texas Terror)
1999 15 Buffalo Destroyers New York → New England Sea Wolves
2000 17 Carolina Cobras
Los Angeles Avengers
Portland → Oklahoma Wranglers
2001 19 Chicago Rush
Detroit Fury
Albany → Indiana Firebirds
Iowa → New York Dragons
New England → Toronto Phantoms
New Jersey Gladiators
(from New Jersey Red Dogs)
2002 16 Dallas Desperados Florida Bobcats
Houston Thunderbears
Milwaukee Mustangs
Oklahoma Wranglers
Nashville → Georgia Force
2003 16 Colorado Crush Toronto Phantoms New Jersey → Las Vegas Gladiators
2004 19 Austin Wranglers
New Orleans VooDoo
Philadelphia Soul
Buffalo → Columbus Destroyers
2005 17 Nashville Kats Carolina Cobras
Detroit Fury
Indiana Firebirds
2006 18 Kansas City Brigade
Utah Blaze
New Orleans VooDoo
2007 19 New Orleans VooDoo
17 Austin Wranglers
Nashville Kats
Las Vegas → Cleveland Gladiators
0 New Orleans VooDoo
Los Angeles Avengers
Arizona Rattlers
Chicago Rush
Cleveland Gladiators
Colorado Crush
Columbus Destroyers
Dallas Desperados
Georgia Force
Grand Rapids Rampage
Kansas City Brigade
New York Dragons
Orlando Predators
Philadelphia Soul
San Jose SaberCats
Tampa Bay Storm
Utah Blaze
15 Alabama Vipers*
Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings*
Dallas Vigilantes
Iowa Barnstormers*
Jacksonville Sharks
Milwaukee Iron*
Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz*
Spokane Shock*
Tulsa Talons*
Utah Blaze**
(* Former af2 team)
(** Former AIFA team)
Arizona Rattlers
Chicago Rush
Cleveland Gladiators
Orlando Predators
Tampa Bay Storm
18 Pittsburgh Power Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz Kansas City Command
Philadelphia Soul
San Jose SaberCats
Alabama Vipers → Georgia Force
Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings → New Orleans VooDoo
Kansas City Command
(from Kansas City Brigade)

Milwaukee Mustangs
(from Milwaukee Iron)
17 Dallas Vigilantes Tulsa Talons → San Antonio Talons

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Arena Football League para niños

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