American Flag Football League Sells Boston, Vegas Franchises for $3M
The American Flag Football League, which is launching a professional league in spring 2023, has sold its first franchises in Boston and Las Vegas at a price of $3 million each.
“It wasn’t our intention to sell any of the teams, but we started to see a lot of interest and shifted our attitude on that,” league founder Jeff Lewis said in a video call. “We will open with four to six teams, at least four of which will be owned by external parties.”
The first two franchises were sold to private investors; Lewis declined to name them, though the investors currently don’t own any other teams in a top-level sports league.
The AFFL wants to have franchises in cities with strong football participation and a good base of local pro and college football veterans. “Boston makes a lot of sense for us because we have a youth league that has about 10,000 kids in it, and half are in New England,” Lewis said, “[and] Vegas, there are so many athletes out there it’s ridiculous.”
There are ongoing discussions about selling a third franchise in Pittsburgh, while football hotbeds of Florida and Texas are also being targeted for teams, according to Lewis. Sprawling metropolises with a large slate of pro teams—such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago—are unlikely to be early AFFL cities, he added.
The AFFL has run flag football games since 2017 highlighted by former NFL pros, including Chad Johnson and James Ihedigbo. The game is played seven-on-seven with no kicking game and, of course, no tackling. Last year, the league’s men’s tournament was broadcast on various Paramount outlets while its women’s tournament primarily had contests streamed on Facebook and YouTube. Athletes in those games weren’t paid.