Lively Tales About Dead Teams


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There have been two incarnations of the Arena Football League.  The original league launched in 1987 and shut down (at arguably the peak of its popularity) after the 2008 season amidst a dispute over the league’s business model and labor costs.  After a year off, a group of former owners purchased the original league’s IP rights out of bankruptcy court in November 2009 and launched a much leaner, non-unionized Arena Football League in the spring of 2010.

When the AFL started in the summer of 1987, it was a single-entity business run out of Chicago by league founder Jim Foster.  The league published a game day magazine – ARENABALL – which had a consistent look and feel in all league cities.  Beginning in 1990, the league shifted to a franchise model and club owners gained greater control over marketing their clubs.  ARENABALL continued to be the game day program throughout the league for most of the 1990’s, but local clubs could now create their own team-branded cover artwork.

Around 2000 the league signed on with a company called Fan Guides.  Fan Guides had an ad-driven revenue model, which involved giving away free programs to every fan who entered the building, in order to increase the number of impressions generated for sponsors.  The Fan Guides were cheap-looking junk and thankfully faded away after a season or two.  From that point forward, each club has produced its own locally branded programs of varying quality.

Arena Football memorabilia presents a daunting challenge for collectors and history buffs.  More than 75 franchises have come and gone during the league(s)’ quarter century of operation, many lasting only a season or two before fading from memory.  You can find a complete list of clubs and their years of operation at  Despite all of those clubs, there’s not a lot of material floating around out there on the collector’s market.  Chances are there is quite a bit out there in attics and storage bins, but people simply don’t know what they have or assume it has little value or interest to others.

AFL programs are presented here in chronological order from oldest to newest.  Browse our Arena Football memorabilia for sale here or click on a program below to see if we have it available in our inventory today.


Arena Bowl I Program. August 1, 1987

Pittsburgh Gladiators Program

Pittsburgh Gladiators Program

Pittsburgh Gladiators Program

Drew Pearson Dallas Texans

Detroit Drive Program

Arenaball Magazine

Arena Football Programs

Scooter Molander Las Vegas Sting

Portland Forest Dragons Program

Grand Rapids Rampage Program

Iowa Barnstormers Program

Darryl Hammond Nashville Kats

Iowa Barnstormers Program

Iowa Barnstormers Program

Iowa Barnstormers Program

Andy Kelly Nashville Kats

Buffalo Destroyers Program

Buffalo Destroyers Program

Iowa Barnstormers Yearbook

Arenaball Magazine

Marcus Knight Philadelphia Soul

San Jose Sabercats Program

B.J. Cohen New Orleans Voodoo

Chris Pointer New Orleans Voodoo

Will Holder New York Dragons

Arena Football League Programs

Philadelphia Soul Program

San Jose Sabercats vs. Colorado Crush. May 24, 2008

2010 Cleveland Gladiators

Nygel Rogers Chicago Rush

Arena Football Programs

Nygel Rogers

Chris Johnson Cleveland Gladiators

Arena Football Programs

Jacksonville Sharks Cheerleaders

Russ Michna Chicago Rush

Nick Davila Arizona Rattlers

J.C. Neal Kansas City Command

Chicago Rush Cheerleaders

JJ Payne Chicago Rush

2012 Milwaukee Mustangs

Francis Maka San Jose SaberCats

Clevan Thomas San Jose SaberCats

Huey Whittaker San Jose SaberCats

Jamarko Simmons San Jose SaberCats

Russ Michna San Jose SaberCats

Jason Willis San Jose Sabercats

Fred Williams San Jose SaberCats

Jabari Fletcher San Jose SaberCats

George Bussey San Jose SaberCats

Raymond McNeil San Jose SaberCats

Arena Bowl XXVI

2014 San Antonio Talons

Clevan Thomas San Jose SaberCats

Jason Stewart, San Jose SaberCats

J.J. Raterink L.A. Kiss

Russ Michna San Jose SaberCats

Arena Football Programs

Francis Maka San Jose SaberCats

Philadelphia Soul vs. San Antonio Talons. June 1, 2014

Ken Fontenette San Jose SaberCats

Philadelphia Soul vs. Pittsburgh Power. June 14, 2014

Nathan Stanley San Jose SaberCats

Arena Football League Programs

Rich Ranglin San Jose SaberCats

2014 Spokane Shock

San Jose SaberCats Program

Thyron Lewis Los Angeles KISS

Written by andycrossley

December 29th, 2011 at 4:29 pm

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