In danger of missing payroll, the AAF needed an emergency $250 million investment.
The Alliance of American Football is only a few weeks old and already it has encountered the biggest problem that plagues most startup leagues.
According to a report from The Athletic, the AAF despite a good ratings debut, was running low on cash with the possiblity of missing payroll before its second weekend of play.
But then Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon stepped up and made a $250 million investment in the league. With the new infusion of funds on hand, Dundon will reportedly be named the league's new chairman on Tuesday. Dundon paid $420 million for the Hurricanes in January 2018.
The league later confirmed Dundon's contribution.
“Since the beginning, it has been crucial that the foundation of The Alliance be set with world-class partners and Tom Dundon represents just that,” said Charlie Ebersol, co-founder and CEO, The Alliance. “Tom, Bill Polian, and I will work with our great team at the Alliance to expand our football operations and technology business. Tom is a self-made American success story who brings a wealth of knowledge in the sports, entertainment and finance worlds and proven leadership to our organization.”
“Without a new, nine-figure investor, nobody is sure what would have happened,” a source told the Athletic. “You can always tell people their checks are going to be a little late, but how many are going to show up on the weekend for games when they don’t see anything hit their bank accounts on Friday?”
The AAF, which has been billed as a way for former NFL players and coaches to get another shot in the game, has eight teams in Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, Orlando, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego and Tempe. The league is scheduled to have a 10-week regular season before it has its championship game on April 27.