Arena Football League

The Arena Football League, more commonly referred to as the AFL, was the first arena football league to be created, founded by Jim Foster in 1987. At one point the league had grown so big that they created AF2, a developmental league that complemented the AFL.

After two test games in Chicago to see if the idea of an arena football league was plausible, Foster founded the AFL. The first game kicked off on June 19, 1987, between the Pittsburgh Gladiators and Washington Commandos. Later that season, the No. 1 Gladiators lost Arena Bowl I to the No. 2 Denver Dynamite 45-16 at Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The league has gone from a high of 19 teams in 2007 to a low of four teams in 2018. The league played with six teams in 2019, with the addition of the Atlantic City Blackjacks in Atlantic City, New Jersey and the Columbus Destroyers in Columbus, Ohio.