Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Arena Football League players strike appears less likely

TAMPA — The Arena Football League is set to kick off its 25th season this weekend, and it looks like threats of a work stoppage may not dampen the silver anniversary celebration after all.

On Wednesday, players overwhelmingly voted in favor of advancing a possible strike, according to the Arena Football League Players Union.

But Thursday, AFL players union executive director Ivan Soto told the Orlando Sentinel that "the likelihood of a work stoppage has been reduced. The league has communicated with me and alluded that they will have something to present."

The impasse centered around player wages, which changed after the 2011 season. Last year, three "marketing" players per team were paid $1,000 per week while the rest made $400.

This season, all players will earn $400 per week, with the exception of starting quarterbacks, who are scheduled to make $1,650. In addition, players will receive a $50 bonus for each win and continue to have a housing and meal stipend.

In an open letter to fans on the AFLPU website, the union proposed a "wage increase (that) equates to about $850 per player per week."

The league is set to kick off the season tonight when Pittsburgh visits Orlando, a game televised by the NFL Network. The Storm opens its season Saturday night in Chicago. Tampa Bay practiced Thursday and is set to leave for Chicago this morning. Storm media relations director Jim Robinson said, "There had been no change in schedule."

Orlando TV station WKMG reported that the Predators have been holding secret practices with replacement players in the event of a strike. AFL commissioner Jerry Kurz told the Sentinel the games will carry on regardless of who's in uniform.

"We have signed, under contract, the very best AFL players," Kurz said. "If they choose, which is their right, to do a work stoppage or strike, we have other players in line that will put on a tremendous AFL product."

.fast facts

Storm at Chicago

When/ where: 8 p.m. Saturday; Allstate Arena

Radio: 1250-AM

Home opener: vs. Georgia, 8 p.m. March 16

Tickets: (813) 301-6600 or

Arena Football League players strike appears less likely 03/08/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 8, 2012 11:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Mariners lose lefty Drew Smyly to Tommy John surgery


    SEATTLE — Drew Smyly was the centerpiece to one of Seattle's many offseason moves by general manager Jerry Dipoto. He was a priority acquisition as a proven lefty for the rotation the Mariners believed would thrive pitching at Safeco Field.

    Drew Smyly will undergo Tommy John surgery after being diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Seattle announced the diagnosis on Wednesday, ending Smyly's hopes of returning during the 2017 season. [AP photo]
  2. Jones: Steve Yzerman's plan for getting the Lightning back into the playoffs

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Seems like forever since the Lightning played a game.

    If the Lightning season started right now, would Steve Yzerman be happy with what he has? "We're still a couple of players short,'' Yzerman said.. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  3. Mikhail Sergachev said he felt comfortable and welcomed in his first day in a Lightning uniform.
  4. Trump welcomes Joe Maddon and World Series champion Cubs to White House

    The Heater

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has welcomed the manager and several players from the World Series champion Chicago Cubs to the White House.

    President Donald Trump, with Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon, right, and team members, gives a thumb-up as he meets with the 2016 World Series Champions Chicago Cubs, Wednesday,  in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. [AP photo]
  5. Lightning re-signs Cory Conacher to two-year deal


    Cory Conacher said he wanted another shot in the NHL, and hoped it would be with the Lightning.

    Cory Conacher on Wednesday signed a two-year deal with Tampa Bay.