About the AAL
In 2016, the Arena Pro Football League was founded by its CEO, Tony Zefiretto, and Emeritus League President, Jack Bowman. Zefiretto is a former college coach, executive in arena football and arena coach. His experience also includes team executive in major league baseball and as a Vice President and General Manager in minor league baseball. Bowman was a long-time successful coach, General Manager and League Executive in arena football. Both are in the Minor League Football Hall of Fame.
Due to the success of the APF, at the conclusion of its inaugural season, teams from three other leagues decided to join their ranks. That consolidation prompted the APF owners to start a new consulting firm; the American Arena League (AAL). Upon the request of a team, the AAL is a resource to assist them in their quest to be a successful business.
The two executives initially discussed the concept in 2003, when Bowman was GM of the Myrtle Beach Stingrays Arena Football team and Zefiretto served as Senior Director for the former Atlanta Braves affiliate in Myrtle Beach. These two founders were determined to create a business model similar to the one utilized in minor-league baseball. "We want teams to bring fun and affordable family entertainment to smaller cities,'' said Zefiretto. "Our expectation is that teams are committed to their communities. fans, sponsors and today’s youth."
NFL Hall of Fame Committee Member Ira Kaufman - "The AAL has quickly grown into the largest professional arena league in the United States. The league is considering an AAL2 division and a division for “Affiliated Teams”. These divisions would serve teams who anticipate transitioning into professional arena football.
To ensure long-term viability, the league founders enlisted a staff of high-quality individuals with years of successful experience in professional sports and within the business world. The staff serves a resource for owners. The league also created a branding opportunity for its members. Each team can now sell their apparel in local Walmart stores.
There's more growth on the horizon for a league intent on expanding its sidelines throughout the United States and Europe. The league is solid, and the future is bright. "
AAL CEO, Tony Zefiretto, has instilled a “fans come first”culture, mandating everyone in the organization to deliver a superb experience. “With former NFL, D1 and All American players, our goal is to assist teams in their quest to put the highest quality product on the field for their fans to enjoy at an affordable price”. The league understands that if fans are happy, they will return.
To help provide the ultimate fan experience, at the conclusion of each game, fans are invited onto the field to meet the players, get pictures and obtain autographs. “It’s one of the things that makes us different” says Zefiretto.