The 2016 Arena Football League season was the 29th season in the history of the Arena Football League. Prior to the start of the season, the league contracted to eight teams. The 16-game regular season then began on April 1, 2016 and ended on August 1, 2016. The league, however, kept its eight-team playoff format, which meant that every club qualified for the postseason.

2016 Arena Football League season
LeagueArena Football League
SportArena football
DurationApril 1, 2016 – August 26, 2016
Regular season
Season MVPNick Davila, ARZ
League postseason
American Conference championsPhiladelphia Soul
  American Conference runners-upJacksonville Sharks
National Conference championsArizona Rattlers
  National Conference runners-upCleveland Gladiators
ArenaBowl XXIX
ChampionsPhiladelphia Soul
  Runners-upArizona Rattlers
Finals MVPShaun Kauleinamoku, PHI
AFL seasons

League businessEdit

TeamsEdit

The Las Vegas Outlaws and the New Orleans VooDoo were dropped from the league at the end of the 2015 season because new ownership groups could not be found for either team. The Spokane Shock jumped to the Indoor Football League on September 1, 2015.[1] The AFL claimed ownership of the Shock name, forcing the team to rename itself the Spokane Empire.[2] On October 30th, 2015, the league announced that there would not be any expansion teams for the 2016 season; this event occurred just under three hours before what had been slated to be the expected announcement of an expansion franchise in San Antonio to be owned by the ownership group of the San Antonio Spurs. The group owning the 2015 league champion San Jose SaberCats returned the franchise to the league on November 12, 2015 for "reasons unrelated to League operations". Commissioner Scott Butera said the league would try to find new ownership, but this was not forthcoming in time for the team to operate during the 2016 season to defend its championship.[3] Because the league was now down to eight teams for the 2016 season, there were still the American and National Conferences but no divisional play. The Cleveland Gladiators were moved to the National Conference to maintain a balance between the conferences.[4] The league took over operations of the former Portland Thunder in January 2016[5] and rebranded it as the Portland Steel.[6] The 2016 schedule was announced on December 10, 2015.[7]

ArenaBowl PlayoffsEdit

All teams from both conferences qualified for the playoffs. As in the prior season, there were the Conference Semifinals, the Conference Championships, and ArenaBowl XXIX.

In the American Semifinals, the Soul beat the Storm 63–41 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The Sharks beat the Predators 69–68 in overtime; the National Semifinals saw the Rattlers beat the Steel 84–40 and the Gladiators beat the Kiss 56–52 in San Diego, California.

The Rattlers doubled up the Gladiators 82–41 in the National Conference title game. In the American Conference title game, the Soul edged the Sharks by a score of 55–50.

The Philadelphia Soul upset the heavily-favored Arizona Rattlers 56–42 in ArenaBowl XXIX in Glendale, Arizona for their second AFL title.

AlignmentEdit

Conference Teams
American Jacksonville Sharks, Orlando Predators, Philadelphia Soul, Tampa Bay Storm
National Arizona Rattlers, Cleveland Gladiators, Los Angeles Kiss, Portland Steel

Regular season standingsEdit

x - Clinched conference title.

PlayoffsEdit

Conference Semifinals Conference Championships ArenaBowl XXIX
         
1 Arizona 84
4 Portland 40
1 Arizona 82
National Conference
3 Cleveland 41
2 Los Angeles 52
3 Cleveland 56
N1 Arizona 42
A1 Philadelphia 56
1 Philadelphia 63
4 Tampa Bay 41
1 Philadelphia 55
American Conference
3 Jacksonville 50
2 Orlando 68
3 Jacksonville 69OT

Conference semifinalsEdit

Conference Date Kickoff Away Score Home Game site Recap
American August 6 7:00 p.m. EDT Jacksonville Sharks 69–68 (OT) Orlando Predators Amway Center [8]
National August 6 10:00 p.m. EDT Portland Steel 40–84 Arizona Rattlers Talking Stick Resort Arena [9]
American August 7 6:00 p.m. EDT Tampa Bay Storm 41–63 Philadelphia Soul PPL Center [10]
National August 7 6:00 p.m. EDT Cleveland Gladiators 56–52 Los Angeles Kiss Valley View Casino Center [11]

Conference finalsEdit

Conference Date Kickoff Away Score Home Game site Recap
National August 13 9:30 p.m. EDT Cleveland Gladiators 41–82 Arizona Rattlers Talking Stick Resort Arena [12]
American August 14 6:00 p.m. EDT Jacksonville Sharks 50–55 Philadelphia Soul PPL Center [13]

ArenaBowl XXIXEdit

Date Kickoff Away Score Home Game site Recap
August 26 7:00 PM EDT Philadelphia Soul 56–42 Arizona Rattlers Gila River Arena [14]

All-Arena teamEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "IFL Announces Addition of Spokane Shock". Indoor Football League. September 1, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  2. ^ "AFL Issues Statement on Spokane Shock". www.arenafootballleague.com. Arena Football League. October 12, 2015. Archived from the original on December 17, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  3. ^ "AFL Issues Statement on San Jose SaberCats". www.arenafootballleague.com. Arena Football League. November 12, 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-12-17. Retrieved December 18, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. ^ "AFL Announces 2016 Conference Alignment". www.arenafootballleague.com. Arena Football League. October 30, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  5. ^ "AFL Takes over Operations of Portland Thunder". OurSportsCentral. January 6, 2016.
  6. ^ "Portland AFL Organization Rebrands to Steel". OurSportsCentral. February 24, 2016.
  7. ^ "Arena Football League Announces 2016 Schedule". www.arenafootballleague.com. Arena Football League. December 10, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  8. ^ "Orlando Eliminated From Postseason with Overtime Loss to Jacksonville". arenafootball.com. August 7, 2016. Archived from the original on October 17, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  9. ^ "Rattlers Advance with Huge Win over Portland 84-40". arenafootball.com. August 7, 2016. Archived from the original on October 21, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  10. ^ "Storm Falls in First Round of AFL Postseason, Loses to Philadelphia 63-41". arenafootball.cstv.com. August 7, 2016. Archived from the original on August 9, 2017. Retrieved August 9, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  11. ^ "LA KISS Eliminated From Postseason with Loss to Cleveland". arenafootball.cstv.com. August 7, 2016. Archived from the original on August 9, 2017. Retrieved August 9, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)}
  12. ^ "Rattlers Earn Trip to ArenaBowl XXIX with Win over Gladiators, 82-41". arenafootball.com. August 14, 2016. Archived from the original on October 21, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  13. ^ "Soul Outlast Sharks 55-50, Advance to ArenaBowl XXIX". arenafootball.com. August 14, 2016. Archived from the original on October 21, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  14. ^ "Soul Defeat Rattlers, 56-42, to Claim AFL Crown". arenafootball.com. August 26, 2016. Archived from the original on November 13, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)