San Antonio, Texas – Tom Dundon: Chairman and Managing Partner of Dundon Capital partners in Dallas, Texas, owner of the Carolina Hurricanes NHL team, and now the Chairman of the Alliance of American Football.
After failing to make payroll two weeks ago and being close to not making payroll this last week, it seemed as though the AAF would be in some hot water. However, Tom Dundon injected $250 million into the developmental league, which allowed the AAF to make payroll and continue as an organization. But why? Dundon commented in a statement released by the AAF, “As a lifelong sports fan and entrepreneur, I’ve always valued the opportunities generated in the ecosystem of sports and entertainment… I’m impressed with The Alliance’s stunning growth in-stadium and across TV, mobile and social media in just these first few weeks.”
How exactly the league got into this trouble is uncertain, especially considering how their players’ incomes pale in comparisons to the NFL. But looking at all the costs it takes to run a league, it makes sense how money seems to run thin within a blink of an eye: paying players, paying staff, paying stadium staff (janitors, concession workers, security, etc.), renting out stadiums, buying equipment, the list keeps going. However bad this bail-out situation may look, it actually may be foreshadowing the future of the AAF. Looking at things logically, why would Tom Dundon, who is already a millionaire, invest in something he didn’t believe would eventually succeed? The evidence was there to prove that this league wasn’t just another pushover as well. The league had a strong opening night, actually beating out ABC’s NBA game in viewer ratings. So if a new football league on their opening night can get more viewers than an NBA team, their odds of continued success are fairly high.
At the end of the day, the AAF is now saved (for a while), and now that Dundon is chairman and is the top investor of the league coupled with the league’s recent opening day success, the probability of the league needing to be rescued again in this fashion is near zero.
Claire Coburn is an Intern Writer for Pub Sports Radio