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Bankrupt Arena Football League holds auction, will sell off assets

Thomas Barrabi

The defunct Arena Football League’s remaining assets, including team equipment, memorabilia and intellectual property, will go up for sale this month as part of bankruptcy proceedings, auction overseer GA Global Partners announced Tuesday.

"This auction is a historic opportunity for sports enthusiasts, coaches, and indoor football investors to acquire an extraordinary amount of equipment," said Paul Brown, vice president of GA Global Partners. "From complete indoor football field systems to game uniforms, people will be able to bid on individual lots or together as an entire league."

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The timed, public online auction will begin on June 2 and run through June 23, the firm said. The intellectual property of all six AFL teams -- the Albany Empire, Atlantic City Blackjacks, Baltimore Brigade, Columbus Destroyers, Philadelphia Soul and Washington Valor -- will be available for bidding.

A variety of AFL equipment and memorabilia is up for grabs, including team football helmets, practice jerseys, game uniforms, footballs, practice equipment and more. Five indoor arena football field rigs are also available for purchase.

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The AFL suspended league operations in October 2019 amid a slew of financial difficulties, including accrued debt from previous incarnations of the league. Commissioner Randall Boe announced last November that the AFL would file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and shut down for good after failing to find a financial backer to continue operations.

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The auction will take place online, with physical inspections of items available by appointment only.

The AFL experienced several financial highs and lows after its founding in 1987. After featuring 19 franchises at its peak, the league was forced to declare bankruptcy and cancel its 2009 season. A reorganized version of the AFL resurfaced in 2010 and experienced early success, only to contract several franchises and suspend operations for a second time.

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