Arena Pro Football
Arena Pro Football
|CEO||Anthony Zefiretto Sr.|
|No. of teams||5|
|Headquarters||Myrtle Beach, South Carolina|
Arena Pro Football (APF) was a professional indoor football league based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The league began its first season in March 2017. This league was one of several professional indoor football leagues to launch following the dissolution of American Indoor Football; others include the National Arena League and Supreme Indoor Football.
After one season, it merged with the Can-Am Indoor Football League to form the American Arena League.
The league was originally announced as the National Arena Football League in 2016. The league announced their first three teams as the Birmingham Outlawz, Myrtle Beach Sharks, and Savannah Coastal Outlaws. The league changed its name to Arena Pro Football (APF) in September 2016 after the Birmingham Outlawz accidentally posted the NAFL logo of the North American Football League as their league logo. They added expansion teams in the Cape Fear Wildcats and Richmond Roughriders. The league also added the Florida Tarpons and River City Raiders from the recently defunct American Indoor Football (AIF). The Central Florida Jaguars and Palm Beach Phantoms were also listed as members for a while until they were later removed and added as league affiliates and part of the Elite Indoor Football Conference. The Birmingham Outlawz later changed their name back to Alabama Outlawz after they failed to secure an arena in Birmingham. The Myrtle Beach Sharks announced they had joined the outdoor Gridiron Developmental Football League on March 7 and had left the APF, although they seem to have also left the GDFL in April.
Also prior to its first season, the APF formed several agreements with other upstart leagues. The first affiliation was with United States Indoor Football, a summer league that plays all its games in Savannah, Georgia, and operated by the Coastal Outlaws (the organization that also runs the Savannah Coastal Outlaws). On November 3, 2016, the league also announced inter-league play with the Elite Indoor Football Conference, the league formed by the Central Florida Jaguars after the dissolving of the AIF. However, all references to the EIFC were removed in January 2017 even after the Jaguars and Phantoms had attended the December 2016 league meetings. They also announced on November 14, 2016, an alliance with the Can-Am Indoor Football League where the playoff champions of each league meet for an inter-league championship game. The interleague championship was never played.
The league played its first game on March 10, 2017, between the Alabama Outlawz and Florida Tarpons, which Florida won, 42–18. After playing three away games, all losses, the Alabama Outlawz canceled its first home game. On April 26, they then announced that they had canceled the rest of their season, which had originally been scheduled as all home games. The Myrtle Beach Sharks appeared to have to rejoined the APF mid-season, however, it was for away games only and the team called the Sharks were wearing the defunct Myrtle Beach Freedom uniforms. After playing all five home games to open the season, the River City Raiders declined to travel to play the Richmond Roughriders for their scheduled May 20 game. The Roughriders were able to secure an opponent in the Atlanta Furious, a team that primarily played in the Southern Steam's Elite Indoor Football (although many of those league's games were played outdoors). The only other away games the Raiders had originally been scheduled for was one of the canceled Alabama home games and against the Myrtle Beach Sharks.
During the APF's first season, the Vermont Bucks announced on April 14, 2017, that for the 2018 season the APF and Can-Am leagues would officially merge and create the American Arena League, which the APF would later confirm.
The Richmond Roughriders would defeat the Florida Tarpons 74–61 in the championship game on June 10, 2017, after the Roughriders finished the season undefeated.
Map of teams
|Alabama Outlawz||Columbiana, Alabama||Shelby County Exhibition Center||N/A||2013||2017||Darnell Robinson|
|Florida Tarpons||Estero, Florida||Germain Arena||7,186||2012||2017||Michael Taylor|
|Richmond Roughriders||Richmond, Virginia||Richmond Coliseum||11,000||2016||2017||Mook Zimmerman|
|River City Raiders||St. Charles, Missouri||Family Arena||9,755||2012||2017||Greg Moore|
|Savannah Coastal Outlaws||Savannah, Georgia||Savannah Civic Center||7,200||2016||2017||Anthony Bryan|
Listed as future members prior to merge
- Cape Fear Wildcats
- Hampton Roads Riptides
- "Weekly Sports League & Franchise Report". OurSports Central. October 31, 2016.
- "PRO ARENA TEAM JOINS GDFL". GDFL. March 7, 2017.
- "APF and EIFC Join Forces for 2017 Season". OurSports Central. November 3, 2016.
- "AAL Homepage". American Arena League. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
- "WEEKLY SPORTS LEAGUE & FRANCHISE REPORT". OurSports Central. April 17, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
- "Richmond Roughriders win APF Championship". WRIC-TV. June 11, 2017.
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