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Austin in af2


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This was from yesterday:

http://keyetv.com/topstories/local_story_170164022.html

(CBS 42) AUSTIN Austin's Arena Football League team, the Austin Wranglers, is downgrading to a lower level league.

A source with the team told CBS 42's Skip Baldwin next year it will move to the AL 2 league -- similar to the minor leagues in other sports.

The source said the team is not making enough money. Right now the salary cap for the Wranglers is approximately $2 million for all its players. The cap in the new league is $80,000. The team has 23 players on its active roster.

Also travel costs will drop since all the teams the Wranglers will play in AL 2 are in this region.

The team has one more game this season, which is Sunday at Tampa Bay. The Wranglers' record is 4-11.

This is the team's fourth year in the Arena league.

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This was from yesterday:

http://keyetv.com/topstories/local_story_170164022.html

(CBS 42) AUSTIN Austin's Arena Football League team, the Austin Wranglers, is downgrading to a lower level league.

A source with the team told CBS 42's Skip Baldwin next year it will move to the AL 2 league -- similar to the minor leagues in other sports.

The source said the team is not making enough money. Right now the salary cap for the Wranglers is approximately $2 million for all its players. The cap in the new league is $80,000. The team has 23 players on its active roster.

Also travel costs will drop since all the teams the Wranglers will play in AL 2 are in this region.

The team has one more game this season, which is Sunday at Tampa Bay. The Wranglers' record is 4-11.

This is the team's fourth year in the Arena league.

What does this do to the 2 or 3 af2 teams that Austin already owns?

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Something had to give - for all those 5-figure "announced" crowds, reports from Wranglers fans over at ArenaFan had actual attendance going at 4-5K a game. And apparently, part-owner Deion Sanders came out before one of the home games this season and practically begged fans to bring more people with them out to the games.

I'm just waiting for the official word to come out of Las Vegas, once and for all. And back down to 17 teams we go.

Also, for rams80:

MacGregor is managing partner of Texas af2 Holdings, which owns the Amarillo Dusters, Corpus Christi Sharks, Laredo Lobos, Lubbock Renegades and Texas Copperheads (Katy). MacGregor also is part owner of the Boise (Idaho) Burn and the Tri-Cities Fever in Kennewick, Wash.

The guy doesn't just own 2 or 3 teams. He owns Texas! (In af2 terms, that is.)

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I knew this was going to eventually happen from the day Austin was given an Arena Football team. Austin just isn't a market sizeable enough for top-tier Arena Football. Now I do agree that AF2 is the best option for the team in a market like Austin.

Wonder if the league will attempt to find a new owner and relocate the team to another city. The usual suspects when it comes to league expansion are Boston (TD Banknorth Garden) and Seattle (KeyArena, although the seating arrangement bites). Some dark horses could be Houston (Toyota Center), St. Paul/Minnesota (Xcel Energy Center), and Washington (Verizon Center).

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I don't think Grand Rapids will last much longer in the AFL, either. Haven't they been losing money for the past few seasons?

I have heard that too, but from what I hear the owner of the Rampage (I think his name is DeVos) is hellbent on staying put in Grand Rapids. If they were to move, I would assume Minnesota, Milwaukee, and possibly Detroit could be viable options.

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Not making enough money? How much, exactly, is enough? I've always believed that if a business is profitable after everyone's paid, that business is worthy of survival, even if that profit is a buck a year.

Frankly I'm surprised (i) that Austin's market isn't capable of supporting an AFL franchise (could it just be really poorly marketed, a la the Carolina Cobras?), and (ii) that their ownership would allow the team to be relegated rather than to acquire an AF2 franchise for Austin then sell their AFL franchise to a Boston, Seattle, et al.

Las Vegas was a bad idea to begin with. While I'm sure any of the big four sports would do well there, the AFL just wasn't an acceptable substitute. The team was poorly marketed there as well from all accounts I've seen.

Grand Rapids will be around as long as the DeVos family is involved. The family has ASTROBUCKS, coupled with an intense commitment to community.

But all this begs one fundamental question that I've had for, oh, about a decade or so - why the hell would anyone want an AFL franchise, when so few of them turn a profit... especially now since franchise values have plateaued?

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So now the AFL needs 3 expansion teams to get to 20 teams.

I would rather like to have seen the team sold and moved to Boston, Houston, St. Louis, Miami...etc. Now they have to find people to buy the rights to 3 franchises.

And how many freakin AF2 teams are there gonna be now? Like 50? I say maybe think about moving a successful AF2 team up, like Arkansas or something.

If any teams fold here soon it's gonna be Las Vegas. As for expansion I've heard Boston, Miami, and I think one other city named. Of coarse there's always Dan Snyder in D.C. too... like that'll ever happen!

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And how many freakin AF2 teams are there gonna be now? Like 50? I say maybe think about moving a successful AF2 team up, like Arkansas or something.

As of the 2007 season there are 30 AF2 teams. Austin would make 31. Wikipedia lists the likely 2008 expansion teams as:

- Albuquerque, NM

- Biloxi, MS

- (Des Moines) Iowa Barnstormers (reactivation of the dormant franchise)

There are also inactive teams that could return:

- Jacksonville (FL) Tomcats

- Peoria (IL) Pirates

- Richmond (VA) Speed

As for bringing up an AF2 team, the only viable options I see are Arkansas and Oklahoma City. Other than that, it's possible Louisville could be an option once the new downtown arena opens.

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- Peoria (IL) Pirates

Word on the street is that it's pretty much a done deal (although technically it'd be a new franchise.)

For the people saying the Austin owner should sell the Wranglers franchise...the AFL doesn't want it's franchises to be sold and moved because "fair market value" is a lot cheaper than the expansion franchises they've been charging (with the result that all those people who bought expansion franchises will go nuts...)

Grand Rapids won't move...they are the cockroach of the AFL.

Sodboy...

If Austin's owner ever gets sick of arenaball, the af2's ****ed. (Though he wanted some of those teams so the Wranglers could have "farm teams". What's the plan now?)

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What a joke....and most of the blame lies squarely at the collective feet of Austinites. I love the ATX but it's gotten too cool for it's own shadow. Unless the evening involves multiple bong hits, getting a new tribal tattoo, bongo drums and/or name-dropping about your Dell connections then most locals aren't into it. The Austin Ice Bats used to lead the WPHL/CHL in attendance. It's gotten so bad in recent years the Bats actually relocated to their PRACTICE FACILITY as their home arena to fill the seats. I went to the Round Rock Express game tonight and was astonished by the number of 'fans' who left by the end of the sixth. Apparently there is always something 'cooler' to do.

Texas football is an obvious huge exception. They pack the DKR for every Longhorn game, but even then there are a loud minority who spend the majority of the game in the concourses talking on their phones about how bored they are. These types are ony at the game because it's the thing to do, or to show off their new cute burnt orange halter top. Thankfully this is still a minority. Austin is slowly turning into a mini L.A. and it sucks.

I've been to two Wrangler games. I had a decent time, but that's about it. I never got into arena football, and I still find it too gimicky. Ironically that makes me part of the problem I guess.....repeat customer status-wise, and could explain the overall apathy towards the team in general. Most Texans (and Southerners in general) love football in it's purest form. Outdoor with a full field, no nets. Basically games where touchdowns are meaningful, not common. No offense meant to AFL fans, just not my thing. Many Texas AFL teams have folded over the last decade.

And nothing against the Wrangler organization. They really made the Erwin Center look spectacular. The concessions were top notch. Really affordable. I just wished I liked the whole thing more. AFL2 will kill this franchise. The few diehards who were into this team will view the AFL2 as a serious downgrade and abandon ship.

Austin metro now is about a million people, so the 'fanbase population' excuse doesn't wash.

On a final note, Chan Ho Park was the starting pitcher for Round Rock tonight. WTF? Last I heard of him was when Texas traded him to the Padres.

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- Peoria (IL) Pirates

Word on the street is that it's pretty much a done deal (although technically it'd be a new franchise.)

For the people saying the Austin owner should sell the Wranglers franchise...the AFL doesn't want it's franchises to be sold and moved because "fair market value" is a lot cheaper than the expansion franchises they've been charging (with the result that all those people who bought expansion franchises will go nuts...)

Grand Rapids won't move...they are the cockroach of the AFL.

Sodboy...

If Austin's owner ever gets sick of arenaball, the af2's ****ed. (Though he wanted some of those teams so the Wranglers could have "farm teams". What's the plan now?)

Update...

If the Rivermen owner doesn't want to be behind the Pirates 2.0, Austin's owner will run the team instead.

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Arena Leagues suck. No one wants to see it, even in a football hungry town like Austin....bring on the AAFL and UFL!!!! Real fans want REAL football.

Austin is slowly turning into a mini L.A. and it sucks

I was visiting my cousins in Houston a few weeks ago and we drove up to Austin and I noticed that too.

More like San Jose/South Bay, if you ask me, which I liken to a mini LA I guess. Stop suburban sprawl!!!!

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I for one love indoor football. I'm just saddened by the way they've developed the sport - trying to go too hard, too fast, into markets that can bring television dollars but not develop and sustain a loyal fan base.

While one could rightly argue that the NFL underwent growing pains in its early stages, the AFL's beyond that excuse now. A league in existence for over two decades should have figured out how to have stable franchises by now - otherwise the whole concept needs to be reworked in a fashion where all the league's teams can be profitable. As it stands now, I think few if any of them actually are.

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Arena Leagues suck. No one wants to see it, even in a football hungry town like Austin....bring on the AAFL and UFL!!!! Real fans want REAL football.

Wrong. Real fans will watch football no matter what form it's in.

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