Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment announced that it has decided to suspend operations of the Tampa Bay Storm, effective immediately.
Steve Griggs, Chief Executive Officer of Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment released this statement, "We have informed the League Commissioner Scott Butera, and the remaining members of the Arena Football League, that we will not operate a franchise in 2018. This was not an easy decision, but after deep consideration, evaluation, and introspection, we have elected to reallocate the resources dedicated to arena football for other uses within our organization, including the growth of Tampa Bay Entertainment Properties".
This is a huge blow on the AFL, but it happened due to rising league costs and reduced league revenues which forced the organization to re-evaluate the teams financial situation. They will explore opportunities in the future.
This also puts players in the free agency. Big time athletes like elite receiver Joe Hills, quarterback Chris Bonner, defensive tackle Jordan Miller, defensive back Jabari Gorman, linebacker/wide receiver Alvin Ray Jackson, kicker Mark Lewis, among many others.
The folding of Tampa Bay is good news to some; like the NAL and AAL. They can bring in some of these players. This also may make other teams want to leave the AFL, and go over to these leagues. Not to mention, the players now have many options, and so do teams in other leagues.
Whatever happens next after this, it'll be sure to shake the arena world.