Friday March 16, 2018
The AFL and AFLPU announced today that they have reached a new four-year collective bargaining agreement, subject to final ratification by the players. The deal will on average nearly double player compensation and will expand health care coverage for players while simultaneously positioning the League for growth and expansion opportunities. The League is also announcing today that the free agency period will begin on Monday at 7:00 a.m. with players expected to sign immediately. Training camp will open for the 2018 season on Saturday, March 24th and the League is now focused on preparations for opening weekend on April 13th and 14th.
“We believe passionately in this League,” said Ron Jaworski, Chairman of the AFL Executive Committee. “We love the game, and our players and coaches show incredible talent, dedication and heart every time they step on the field. We are thrilled that we were able to reach this agreement, and we look forward not only to an exciting 2018 season, but to big potential for League growth and expansion through new tech, digital and virtual gaming partnerships. We are only just getting started.”
Last month, the AFL announced exciting new playoff rules changes for the 2018 that guarantee the excitement of a home playoff game in every city and a new League-wide ticket pass that will give fans a chance to experience arena football in every market on the road. Additional technology and virtual gaming-related partnership announcements are forthcoming soon.
Statement from the AFLPU:
“Our Arena Football League has a long history that includes many great chapters and a few challenging ones, however the agreement on the terms of this new CBA signals not only the end of a challenging chapter but the start of what we believe will be the catalyst of a whole new era for the AFL,” said AFLPU Executive President James Baron. “The AFLPU executives, board reps as well as both past and present players would like to thank the AFL bargaining team for their commitment to the process and to the work put in to be able to reach agreement. A special thank you from Executive Director Ivan Soto to Randy Boe of Monumental Sports and Entertainment, Ted Leonsis and especially Ron “Jaws” Jaworski for your consummate professionalism and “never give up” attitude which helped us get the ball across the line with not much time left on the clock. The players have always been 100% committed and upon ratification of the deal they will have an opportunity to compete for their value as well as have access to health care and other valuable terms contained in the new CBA. The AFLPU is excited to help grow the League with our ownership partners and build it in a sustainable yet innovative way to provide the best value and experience for all of the dedicated AFL fans that have been there supporting the AFL through every chapter of AFL history.”