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AAF struggling financially only two weeks into first season

By Updated: February 19, 2019 4:07 PM CT | Published: February 19, 2019 11:41 AM CT

The Alliance of American Football is struggling off the field as much as the winless Memphis Express are struggling on the field, according to a report. 

The Athletic's David Glenn reported the league was in  financial straits last week before Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon invested $250 million into the fledgling league. According to the report, players were close to not being paid before the investment from the NHL owner. 

Officials with the Express said Tuesday afternoon that they are not authorized to comment on the matter and referred all questions to the league statement regarding Dundon's investment.

A league spokesperson told Fox Business' Tom Barrabi, "Players were never in danger of not getting paid." 

Dundon was also announced as the chairman of the AAF's board of directors. 

"Since the beginning, it has been crucial that the foundation of The Alliance be set with world-class partners and Tom Dundon represents just that," league co-founder and CEO Charlie Ebersol said in a statement. "Tom, Bill Polian, and I will work with our great team at the Alliance to expand our football operations and technology business. Tom is a self-made American success story who brings a wealth of knowledge in the sports, entertainment and finance worlds and proven leadership to our organization."

The league has deals to appear on CBS, CBSSports and the NFL Network and Turner Sports. The Express also struck a deal with local Nexstar Entertainment to appear twice on CW30. 

The first two games of the season appeared on CBS. The league claims 6 million viewers tuned in to see what has been tabbed as a developmental league. An app has been one of the league's biggest innovations. They, alongside MGM Resorts International, created a phone app that is supposed to be an immersive fan experience that includes betting on live games. 

The season spans 10 games for each of the eight teams. A four-team playoff is planned for the end of the season with the championship game taking place on April 27 in Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. 

"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. "I'm impressed with The Alliance's stunning growth in-stadium and across TV, mobile and social media in just these first few weeks."



<strong>Memphis Express quarterback Christian Hackenberg looks for a hole in the Arizona Hotshots' defense on a keeper during the home opener of Memphis' new Alliance American Football league team at the Liberty Bowl on Feb. 16, 2019.</strong> (Jim Weber/Daily Memphian)

Memphis Express quarterback Christian Hackenberg looks for a hole in the Arizona Hotshots' defense on a keeper during the home opener of Memphis' new Alliance American Football league team at the Liberty Bowl on Feb. 16, 2019. (Jim Weber/Daily Memphian)

Topics

Memphis Express Alliance Of American Football League Tom Dundon
Jonah Jordan

Jonah Jordan

Jonah Jordan was born and raised in Memphis, graduated from the University of Memphis and has covered the Memphis Tigers for three years. When he's not writing, he enjoys golfing and eating barbecue.


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