Though rumors and speculation about the future of the Arena Football League are growing, the Rattlers are “absolutely” going forward with their 2009 season, the team’s spokesman said Monday.
The Columbus Dispatch published a story over the weekend fueling the idea that the league’s future is in doubt.
The paper quoted two players worried that the league could fold, take a one-year hiatus or compete with fewer teams.
Rattlers spokesman Jack Gorman said, “The league is just going through some internal restructuring. Some people are taking it way too seriously.”
In addition, coach Kevin Guy said, “It’s business as usual.”
He pointed to the team’s open tryout set for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Salt River Indian Community.
“The owners are being smart,” Guy said. “They’re evaluating their economic model and trying to improve it.”
The rumors and speculation have been caused by a number of developments.
In a surprise move, popular commissioner David Baker resigned at the end of the 2008 season.
The league has since delayed the start of free agency and the dispersal draft of players from the recently folded New Orleans VooDoo while it pursues additional financing.
The AFL released a statement last week acknowledging its financial issues.
“The AFL is working on long-term structural improvements which have unfortunately delayed some important events, such as the release of the 2009 schedule, the dispersal draft, and the beginning of free agency,” the statement read.
“We thank our fans for their enthusiasm for these events and ask them to be patient a little longer while we finalize our long-term improvements.”