Arena Football League (2011-2012)
Born: January 27, 2011 – Re-branded from Milwaukee Iron
Folded: October 11, 2012
Arena: The Bradley Center
Arena Football League Championships: None
The Milwaukee Mustangs of 2011-2012 were a failed brand revival of Milwaukee’s popular Arena Football League franchise of the 1990’s. The original Mustangs often drew capacity crowds to the Bradley Center in the mid-1990’s before building lease problems doomed the team in 2001.
The “new” Mustangs started play in 2009 as the Milwaukee Iron in AF2, a lower-budget version of Arena Football played primarily in minor league markets. That same year, the original major-market AFL filed for bankruptcy and went out of business. A new investment group led by the poorer AF2 owners purchased the AFL intellectual property rights from the bankruptcy court and re-organized the Arena Football League in 2010. AF2 went out of business in the process. The Iron joined the new AFL as a founding member in 2010. The franchise re-claimed the old “Mustangs” name prior to the AFL’s second season in 2010.
The re-branding failed miserably. The Mustangs announced 2011 attendance average of 3,953 for 9 dates at the Bradley Center was the worst figure in the 18-team Arena Football League. After a grim 5-13 season in 2012, the club effectively went out of business that October. The league tried to save face by spinning the Mustangs’ departure as an indefinite leave of absence. But in reality indoor football was dead in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee Mustangs Memorabilia