As reported weeks ago, the Arena Football League has seized control of the New Orleans Voodoo and the Las Vegas Outlaws; the leagues expansion team in 2015. According to Arena Fan, the league is expected to make an announcement some time early this week. This ends a tumultuous time for the Voodoo; who have struggled to fill the seats at the Smoothie King Center, and owner Doug Harrington was behind on league dues. The Voodoo have struggled to a 2-12 record in 2015.
Meanwhile; the Las Vegas Outlaws have had problems all throughout their inaugural season. Attendance at the Thomas And Mack center has fallen drastically, including less than 2,000 people attending the “rock star rivalry” on may 4th between the Outlaws and Kiss. Owner Vince Neil somehow was unable to pay bills and there have been reports that money is owed. It may also be why the Outlaws have not worn their black uniforms since that Rock Star Rivalry game on May 4th. Whatever the case may be, the Mötley Crüe frontman has been removed from the AFL, and the league is now running the team. Ironically, the next Outlaws home game is against- the Voodoo, in what will be the second “League Owned Bowl” in AFL history.
“The Arena Football League, as part of its strategic plan to solidify its financial condition and create a platform for growth, has taken over operation of the Las Vegas Outlaws and the New Orleans VooDoo, the League office announced today. In a collective decision from the AFL Board of Directors, both teams will continue as members of the Arena Football League without their previous ownership groups in place. Both the Outlaws and VooDoo have four games remaining in their respective 2015 regular season schedules.”
“I came in with the intention of shoring up the AFL’s financial growth and positive steps have been taken over the past year,” AFL Commissioner Scott C. Butera said. “AFL ownership requires significant financial commitment and operational expertise. We’re excited about moving forward with members who share the same vision. We appreciate the efforts that have been made to keep Arena Football viable in each of these high quality sports markets and have begun fielding inquiries from other interested parties. Our new direction has a supreme commitment to putting the right people in place with all of our teams and we’re making the proper strides in getting that done.”
This is the 6th and 7th time the AFL has seized control of a team since 2010. The previous 5 times it has happened have not gone well.
Teams the AFL has taken over since 2010:
• 2011 Chicago Rush(sold to Julee White)
•2013 Chicago Rush(sold to David Staral)
•2013 Chicago Rush(folded)
•2014 San Antonio Talons(still talking to potential ownership)
•2014 Orlando Predators(sold to David Siegel)
Butera is reportedly seeking new ownership for both franchises, and says both teams will finish their 2015 seasons. There were also reports that there were discussions about suspending the teams for the rest of the season; which would have meant forfeited and canceled games. The Outlaws are 5-9 in their inaugural season, and are currently the 3 seed in the national conference playoff picture. The Voodoo on the other hand are 2-12, and will host the Tampa Bay Storm on Saturday night in what might be the last home game in the teams long history.