After going bankrupt in 2019, the Arena Football League announced Wednesday that it is returning in 2024 under new ownership. The F1 Sports & Entertainment investment group, the same association that purchased the rights to the AFL in 2022, will be taking over the league, and Lee A. Hutton III will be its new commissioner.
This would make Hutton the first Black commissioner to lead a professional sports league in the United States. Hutton was an attorney that represented Fortune 500 companies, athletes, celebrities and artists, per the release.
“The Arena Football League brand has always sat at the promontory of indoor football by offering gridiron entertainment, fast action, and iron tough athletes in conjunction with delivering a family fun experience that uniquely engages the pig skin enthusiast,” Hutton said in the release. “Ultimately, the professional sports brand speaks for itself and is proud to announce, ‘We’re back!’”
The AFL will feature 16 teams that will play games weekly during the summer. Teams will play 10 regular season games before the playoffs. The league was originally formed in 1989 and fluctuated before eventually closing its doors four years ago.