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Tampa Bay Storm suspending operations

The struggling Arena Football League is a big reason why
Lawrence Samuels celebrates after the Storm's win over the Arizona Rattlers in ArenaBowl XVII in 2003. [Times files]
Lawrence Samuels celebrates after the Storm's win over the Arizona Rattlers in ArenaBowl XVII in 2003. [Times files]
Published Dec. 21, 2017|Updated Dec. 21, 2017

The Tampa Bay Storm, the winningest team in Arena Football League history, is having its operations suspended for at least the coming season.

The Storm has a rich history, with five Arena Bowl titles. But with the AFL struggling, down to a handful of teams, Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment decided to reallocate its resources.

"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," said president Steve Griggs.

This shouldn't be a huge surprise.  The AFL has been struggling. Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment cited rising league costs and reduced revenues in reason for suspending operations of the Storm. Griggs said the organization is pleased to explore future opportunities in "stronger, reinvented" AFL at right time.

The Storm made Tampa Bay its home in 1991 and set league records for wins, championships and attendance.

"We are eternally grateful to the Storm fans, current and former players, our sponsorship partners and the Tampa Bay community for their continued support during the team's 26 years of operation in Tampa Bay," Griggs said.  "We are proud of the five ArenaBowl Championships they all earned throughout our history."

With the Storm operations suspended, Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment will look to fill those dates with other events like concerts and family shows.

Storm season ticket members will be contacted immediately by their membership representatives to discuss options for any monies currently being retained by the organization against season tickets for the 2018 season.


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