Nov. 27 (UPI) -- After more than three decades in existence, the Arena Football League filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and will officially cease all operations.
The indoor football league was reduced to six teams before it suspended operations at the end of October. The AFL was evaluating possible strategic operations since last month before Wednesday's decision.
"We're all disappointed that we couldn't find a way forward and we wanted to thank our fans, our players, coaches, everyone who loved the Arena Football League," AFL commissioner Randall Boe said in a statement Wednesday. "We all love the game and tried very hard to make it successful, but we simply weren't able to raise the capital necessary to grow the League, resolve the substantial legacy liabilities and make it financially viable."
The Arena Football League, which began in 1987, was one of the longest-running football leagues in North America. In 2019, the league had six franchises remaining: Albany, Atlantic City, Baltimore, Columbus, Philadelphia and Washington.
The AFL gained widespread national exposure from 1996-2008 under then-commissioner David Baker, who currently serves as president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Multiple NFL team owners, including the Atlanta Falcons' Arthur Blank and Los Angeles Rams' Stan Kroenke, previously owned Arena Football League franchises.
The league, re-branded as Arena Football One in 2009, was the second well-known football league to shut down this year. The Alliance of American Football, which started its first season in February, ended midway through the inaugural campaign in April due to financial concerns.
The XFL, another prominent football league, will begin its season in February 2020.