Its future in jeopardy, Alliance of American Football gets cash infusion

Just a few weeks after launching, the Alliance of American Football has required a huge infusion of cash to keep going.

The AAF said Tuesday that Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon will serve as chairman of its board of directors after making a $250-million investment into the league.

The Athletic website reported late Monday that the league was struggling to make payroll and that its “existence was in jeopardy” before Dundon stepped forward with a quarter-billion dollar commitment.

“As a lifelong sports fan and entrepreneur, I’ve always valued the opportunities generated in the ecosystem of sports and entertainment,” Dundon said in a statement released by the AAF. “I’m impressed with The Alliance’s stunning growth in-stadium and across TV, mobile and social media in just these first few weeks.”

The AAF consists of eight teams and features a collection of former NFL, CFL and college players. The standard AAF player contract covers three years and pays $250,000 USD – $70,000, $80,000 and $100,000 – in base salaries over the deal. Players can earn more with bonuses.

The league has a broadcast deal with CBS and the rules include no kickoffs, shorter play clocks and fewer commercial breaks.

CFL executives have said that the league has already impacted the player market – B.C. Lions draft pick, offensive lineman Brett Boyko is playing for the San Diego Fleet – while some free agent veteran players have chosen to explore their options in lieu of re-signing with a CFL team.

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