2019 AAF season
The 2019 AAF season was the first and only season in the history of the Alliance of American Football (AAF), which began on February 9, 2019. A ten-week regular season was scheduled for each of the league's eight teams.
|2019 Alliance of American Football season|
|League||Alliance of American Football|
|Duration||February 9 – April 14 (planned)|
February 9 – March 31 (actual)
|Number of games||40 scheduled (10 per team)|
32 played (8 per team)
|Number of teams||8|
|TV partner(s)||CBS Sports, Turner Sports, NFL Network|
|Best regular season record||Orlando Apollos|
On April 2, multiple sources indicated that Thomas Dundon, controlling owner of the AAF, had followed through on threats made in the previous week and suspended the AAF's operations, against the will of its founders. By the end of the week, the AAF front office had confirmed the suspension of operations and allowed players to opt-out of their contracts to sign with other leagues. The league filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on April 17, 2019.
At the time the season ended, each team had played eight games, and the Orlando Apollos, with a league best 7–1 record two games ahead of its nearest competitors, had clinched no less than a share of the regular season's best record, regardless of how the rest of the schedule would have played out. A four-team playoff was scheduled to start on April 21, with a championship game on April 27. Initially scheduled for Sam Boyd Stadium on the outskirts of Las Vegas, Nevada, the title game was moved to the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas, before the league ceased operations.
The Alliance of American Football had eight teams competing during its inaugural season.
2019 Alliance of American Football standings
|(x) – Orlando Apollos||7–1||.875||5–0||236||136||100||.406||.375||W2|
|(x) – Birmingham Iron||5–3||.625||3–2||165||133||32||.406||.300||W1|
|(e) – Memphis Express||2–6||.250||1–4||152||194||-42||.578||.500||L1|
|(e) – Atlanta Legends||2–6||.250||1–4||88||213||-125||.609||.438||L3|
|San Antonio Commanders||5–3||.625||3–2||158||154||4||.516||.450||L1|
|San Diego Fleet||3–5||.375||2–3||158||161||-3||.469||.417||L3|
|Salt Lake Stallions||3–5||.375||2–3||135||143||-8||.547||.417||W1|
|(x)–clinched playoff berth; (e)–eliminated from playoff contention|
Each team had a ten-game regular season schedule, consisting of six in-conference games (home-and-away against each of the other three teams) and four out-of-conference games (one game against each of four teams; two home and two away). Weeks 2, 4, 6, and 9 were scheduled with out-of-conference games. Each team played one preseason exhibition game against an out-of-conference opponent. All of the preseason scrimmage games were held January 27–28 at the Alamodome, in conjunction with the league's training camp.
Following the 10-week regular season, the top two teams in each conference were due to face each other in conference championship games, hosted by the higher seeded team. These semifinals were scheduled for April 21. The winners would then meet in the league championship game on April 27 at a neutral site. Originally, the title game had been set for Sam Boyd Stadium near Las Vegas, Nevada, but was changed to Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, before the season was ended.
|Semifinals||2019 AAF Championship Game|
|Sunday, April 21
Spectrum Stadium – Orlando, Florida
|E2||Birmingham Iron||Saturday, April 27|
Ford Center at The Star – Frisco, Texas
|Sunday, April 21
To be hosted by W1
Announced attendance figures for each home game. In the weekly columns, dashes (—) indicate away games, while bold font indicates the highest attendance of each team. Games marked "N/A" were not played.
|Team / Week||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||Total||Average|
|San Antonio Commanders||27,857||29,176||—||—||—||—||30,345||23,504||N/A||—||110,882||27,721|
|San Diego Fleet||—||20,019||14,789||—||20,823||20,986||—||—||—||N/A||76,617||19,154|
|Salt Lake Stallions||—||—||10,412||9,302||—||8,150||—||8,405||—||N/A||36,269||9,067|
Updated through games of March 31, 2019.
Players of the week
Records reflect statistics through the eight regular season games played by all teams.
|2||Reggie Smith||Big 12|
|10||John O’Neill||Big Ten|
|81||Brandon Cruse||Big 12|
The officiating crews included one former NFL official—Jimmy DeBell, a back judge on the Smith crew—and three former NFL players: Nate Jones (side judge, Cruse crew), Terry Killens (umpire, Blake crew), and Mike Morton (umpire, Cruse crew).
CBS Sports, Turner Sports and NFL Network served as the Alliance's broadcast partners for the 2019 season. The CBS Sports deal was announced at the time the league launched, while the Turner Sports and NFL Network contracts were announced less than two weeks before the season began.
- CBS Sports carried the two inaugural games (February 9) regionally via the CBS broadcast network, and was due to carry the championship game broadcast nationwide on the same network. CBS later added one conference championship game and one Week 9 regular season game to their schedule, neither of which was played. CBS Sports Network carried a game of the week on Sunday afternoons.
- The Turner Sports contract included one regular season game (February 16) and a conference championship game on TNT, and a Saturday afternoon game of the week on Bleacher Report's live streaming service, B/R Live. The network had the option to change which service it broadcast its games on, with TNT adding three midseason Saturday afternoon games from B/R Live. Had the league survived the full season, B/R Live would have carried a Sunday afternoon game for Week 9, swapping a game with CBS. In Week 10, B/R Live was due to carry the league's one game of the season scheduled for a Friday.
- NFL Network carried the remainder of the league's games, a Saturday night game and a Sunday night game each week.
|Arizona Hotshots||KDUS (AM)||NBC Sports Radio|||
|Atlanta Legends||WCNN (AM)||Dickey Broadcasting|||
|Birmingham Iron||WERC (AM)||iHeartMedia|||
|Memphis Express||KWNW (FM)||iHeartMedia|||
|Salt Lake Stallions||KALL (AM)||ESPN Radio|||
|San Antonio Commanders||KZDC (AM & FM)||ESPN Radio|||
|San Diego Fleet||KLSD (AM) / KOGO (AM)||Fox Sports Radio|||
Signees to other professional leagues
On April 4, the AAF announced players could leave their contracts to sign with NFL teams following the reported suspension of league football operations. The following players signed with NFL teams:
The following three players signed with Canadian Football League (CFL) teams:
|Player||Position||AAF team||Date||CFL team||Ref.|
|Terrance Plummer||LB||Orlando Apollos||April 4||Hamilton Tiger-Cats|||
|Kennan Gilchrist||LB||Salt Lake Stallions||April 17||Toronto Argonauts|||
|Daniel Braverman||WR||San Antonio Commanders||April 17||Calgary Stampeders|||
The AAF reportedly blocked AAF players from signing with CFL teams, claiming their AAF contracts were "assets in potential bankruptcy proceedings." Plummer, Gilchrist, and Braverman had signed contracts with AAF teams, but had not yet been activated to the roster from their respective teams' rights lists at the time that the AAF suspended football operations.
The following nine players signed with Arena Football League (AFL) teams:
|Player||Position||AAF team||Date||AFL team||Ref.|
|Dwayne Hollis||CB||Atlanta Legends||April 6||Philadelphia Soul|||
|Joe Powell||S||Birmingham Iron||April 7||Baltimore Brigade|||
|Anthony Amos||WR||Arizona Hotshots||April 8||Columbus Destroyers|||
|Daronte Bouldin||G||Memphis Express||April 8||Columbus Destroyers|||
|Ervin Philips||WR||Atlanta Legends||April 10||Baltimore Brigade|||
|Malachi Jones||WR||Atlanta Legends||April 10||Albany Empire|||
|Darius Prince||WR||San Antonio Commanders||April 13||Philadelphia Soul|||
|Giorgio Newberry||DE||Orlando Apollos||April 15||Washington Valor|||
|Jordan Thomas||CB||San Antonio Commanders||April 17||Columbus Destroyers|||
The following two players signed with National Arena League (NAL) teams:
|Player||Position||AAF team||Date||NAL team||Ref.|
|Corey Crawford||DE||Memphis Express||April 3||Carolina Cobras|||
|Fabian Guerra||WR||Memphis Express||April 9||Carolina Cobras|||
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- Hollis was under contract with the Philadelphia Soul before signing with the Atlanta Legends; after the AAF suspended football operations, he was activated from league suspension.
- "NAL Transactions". nationalarenaleague.com. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
- Crawford was under contract with the Cobras before signing with the Express; after the AAF suspended football operations, Crawford was activated from league suspension by the Cobras.
- Lewis, Josh (April 1, 2019). "AAF officiating is kicking down LGBTQ barriers in football". Football Zebras. Retrieved April 5, 2019.