The Arena Football League was doing just fine during its 29th season last year. With eight teams playing and a ninth one coming in 2017, the league seemed to be growing. That ninth team is the Washington Valor, a team started by a businessman named Ted Leonsis. The growth of the league was stunted severely when five teams either left the league or became defunct.
The league was close to folding, as they only had four teams. Everyone around the league knew that the Valor would be the team that would save the league, especially since they were the newest team to join the league. Leonsis is the perfect owner to save the AFL.
He is currently the CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NBA’s Washington Wizards, NHL’s Washington Capitals, WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and the Valor. Leonsis is known to have a hands-on approach with all of his teams.
Leonsis continued to show he has the capability of saving the AFL when he created the Baltimore Brigade, a fifth AFL team that will be playing in Baltimore in 2017. By adding a fifth team, the AFL can continue to grow and get back to a number of teams in the double digits. Under Leonsis’ leadership, his teams have had success, especially the Capitals.
He has the ability to get the Valor and the Baltimore team started right, which will lead to future success for the two teams and the league as a whole. Leonsis has already shown he can be a successful businessman, as he’s been instrumental in starting MSE, LIST Magazine, SnagFilms, and AOL.
Pretty much everyone knows Leonsis is the man that will make or break the AFL. He is an innovative thinker that has created two teams that can move the AFL forward.
The future of the league is obviously not all on the shoulders of Leonsis, but he will be a key cog in the leagues growth. Expect Leonsis to be hands-on with his two new teams, and the AFL in general. If there’s anyone who can save the AFL at this point, it’s definitely Ted Leonsis.