Gladiators, Arena League Suspend 2009 Season

It’s been rumored for a while, but the Arena Football League has made it official… the indoor football circuit will not play in 2009.

The league voted late Sunday to suspend operations for the coming year, with an eye on restructuring – the AFL reportedly hopes to resume play in 2010, but that’s not a certainty.

Since this isn’t Ohio Sports Watch, we only note this because it means Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN 850” will lose one of its play-by-play properties through no fault of its own.

The AFL’s Cleveland Gladiators started play in 2008, and were actually quite successful. But with no league operating, the Gladiators flagship radio station won’t have any games to air. We haven’t tracked the other AFL team in Ohio, the Columbus Destroyers, but they obviously won’t be playing, either.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports today that “at least six” Gladiators employees are now without jobs, including sales staffers and the team’s media relations director.

Play-by-play voice Mike Case’s “day job” is over in Youngstown, as live reporter on Vindicator-owned NBC affiliate WFMJ/21’s morning news…and analyst and former Brown Hanford Dixon surely has enough media work to keep him busy.

Gladiators co-owner and team president Bernie Kosar will presumably continue his on-air appearances through his deal with “ESPN 850 WKNR”. At times, the former Browns quarterback is nearly as entertaining as the call of actual football games…


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