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|1996 Arena Football League season|
|League||Arena Football League|
|Duration||April 25, 1996 – August 26, 1996|
|Champions||Tampa Bay Storm|
|Finals MVP||Stevie Thomas, TB|
The 1996 Arena Football League season was the tenth season of the Arena Football League. It was succeeded by 1997. The league champions were the Tampa Bay Storm, who defeated the Iowa Barnstormers in ArenaBowl X. The AFL finally stabilized its scheduled number of games. It expanded to a 14-game season, which would remain until 2003. Previously, the scheduled number of games had not stayed the same for more than three years.
The Arena Football League (AFL) is a professional indoor American football league in the United States. It was founded in 1987 by Jim Foster, making it the third longest-running professional football league in North America, after the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the National Football League (NFL). The AFL plays a proprietary code known as arena football, a form of indoor American football played on a 66-by-28 yard field, with rules encouraging offensive performance, resulting in a faster-paced and higher-scoring game. The sport was invented in the early 1980s and patented by Foster, a former executive of the United States Football League (USFL) and the NFL.
The 1997 Arena Football League season was the 11th season of the Arena Football League. It was succeeded by 1998. The league champions were the Arizona Rattlers, who defeated the Iowa Barnstormers in ArenaBowl XI.
The Tampa Bay Storm were a professional arena football team based in Tampa, Florida, U.S. that played in the Arena Football League (AFL). The team, along with the Chicago Bruisers, Denver Dynamite and Washington Commandos, joined the AFL in 1987 as one of the charter franchises, and by 1992 it was the last of the four still operating. The team ceased operations in 2017.
The Texas Terror were welcomed as an expansion team.
The Houston ThunderBears was a professional arena football team based in Houston, Texas. The team finished the 2001 season as a member of the Western Division of the American Conference of the Arena Football League (AFL). The team joined the AFL in 1996 as the expansion Texas Terror. After their first two years of existence, the franchise changed their name to the Houston ThunderBears. Plagued with attendance problems through the majority of their existence, the team folded in 2001. Home games were played at the Compaq Center.
Meanwhile, the Fort Worth Cavalry were relocated to Minneapolis and became the Minnesota Fighting Pike; the Las Vegas Sting moved to Anaheim, California, becoming the Anaheim Piranhas, and the Miami Hooters were renamed to the Florida Bobcats. The franchise rights to the Denver Dynamite were sold and the team announced they would return in 1997 as the Nashville Kats
The Fort Worth Cavalry were an Arena Football League team which operated for a single season, 1994, in the National Conference. The league did not want to abandon the idea of having a franchise in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, a major media market, after the demise of the Dallas Texans (1990–1993), and granted a new franchise to an ownership group in Fort Worth. The team was owned by Peter "Woody" Kern and led by head coach Michael Trigg. The team struggled with ticket sales and financial issues lead to the team being folded after the 1994 season.
Minneapolis is the county seat of Hennepin County and the larger of the Twin Cities, the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States. As of 2017, Minneapolis is the largest city in the state of Minnesota and 45th-largest in the United States, with an estimated population of 422,331. The Twin Cities metropolitan area consists of Minneapolis, its neighbor Saint Paul, and suburbs which altogether contain about 3.6 million people, and is the third-largest economic center in the Midwest.
The Minnesota Fighting Pike were an Arena football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They joined the Arena Football League (AFL) in 1996 as an expansion team. The Fighting Pike were the first ever attempt at an arena/indoor football team in the state of Minnesota. The owner of the Fighting Pike was Tom Scallen. The Fighting Pike played at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team colors were green and gold. In a 2012 AFL Poll, the Fighting Pike were voted as the 8th greatest nickname in AFL history.
|Tampa Bay Storm||12||2||0.857||5||1||0.833|
|St. Louis Stampede||8||6||0.571||3||3||0.500|
|San Jose SaberCats||6||8||0.429||1||4||0.200|
|Minnesota Fighting Pike||4||10||0.286||1||2||0.333|
|Position||First team||Second team|
|Quarterback||Kurt Warner, Iowa||Mike Perez, Albany|
|Fullback/Linebacker||Bernard Hall, St. Louis||Kevin Carroll, Anaheim|
|Wide receiver/Defensive back|| Darryl Hammond, St. Louis |
Barry Wagner, Orlando
| Randy Gatewood, Arizona |
David McLeod, Albany
|Wide receiver/Linebacker||Hunkie Cooper, Arizona||Stevie Thomas, Tampa Bay|
|Offensive specialist||Eddie Brown, Albany||Willis Jacox, Iowa|
|Offensive lineman/Defensive lineman|| Sam Hernandez, Anaheim |
Fran Papasedero, St. Louis
Kent Wells, Tampa Bay
| Jerome Brown, Albany |
Ralph Jarvis, Milwaukee
Sylvester Bembery, Tampa Bay
|Defensive specialist|| Rodney Mazion, Anaheim |
Patrick McGuirk, San Jose
| Carlton Johnson, Anaheim |
Tracey Perkins, Tampa Bay
|Kicker||Kenny Stucker, Milwaukee||Pete Elezovic, Albany|
The Anaheim Ducks are a professional ice hockey team based in Anaheim, California. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). Since their inception, the Ducks have played their home games at the Honda Center.
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The Anaheim Piranhas were a professional arena football team that played in the Arena Football League from 1994 to 1997. They played their home games at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California. The team was originally known as the Las Vegas Sting, prior to moving to Anaheim in 1996. The team was owned by future Arena Football League commissioner C. David Baker.
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