Anyone with a stake in the AAF was eager to let the world know what a wild success the league’s first week of games was, citing the fact that the opening contest got better ratings than an NBA game on ABC. But according to a report from The Athletic, the league’s solid ratings didn’t prevent it from nearly missing payroll in just its second week of operation.
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The Athletic reports that the AAF was on the cusp of not being able to pay its players on Friday, but was bailed out when Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon agreed to make a $250 million investment in the league, making him the league’s new chairman:
“Without a new, nine-figure investor, nobody is sure what would have happened,” one source said. “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?”
On Tuesday, multiple sources told The Athletic, the AAF will announce that Carolina Hurricanes majority owner Tom Dundon, a self-made billionaire from Dallas, has become that nine-figure investor. Dundon will be introduced as the league’s new chairman after last week’s commitment of $250 million enabled the AAF to meet its obligations.
Meanwhile, attendance at the league’s Week 2 games was pretty grim. Hopefully Dundon isn’t hoping for a big return on his investment.