Rick Zamperin: Alliance of American Football sacked in inaugural season

It’s apparently not a good week for professional sports leagues.

The Alliance of American Football has suspended operations with just two weeks left in its inaugural season.

Tom Dundon, the owner of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes who pledged a US$250-million investment after the opening week of the AAF season, pulled the plug after failing to reach an agreement with the NFL Players Association to use NFL practice squad players.

The so-called feeder league for the NFL was founded by television producer Charlie Ebersol and former NFL executive Bill Polian last year and had strong TV ratings out of the gate.

But by week two, Dundon was opening up his wallet to keep the league afloat and has poured in $70 million to date.

The news comes less than a week after the Canadian Women’s Hockey League announced it was packing up after a dozen seasons due to financial concerns.

The good news is that the National Women’s Hockey League in the U.S. has quickly reacted by announcing expansion plans for teams in Toronto and Montreal.

The AAF was fighting a massive uphill battle because of the monolithic popularity the National Football League enjoys.

And while some CFL fans were concerned about the emergence of a new football league, we didn’t see many star players leave Canada for the fledgling AAF — unless you count Johnny Manziel.

Now he, too, is looking for another new place to play. Maybe the XFL?

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