|2015 Arena Football League season|
|League||Arena Football League|
|Duration||March 27, 2015 – August 29, 2015|
|Season champions||San Jose SaberCats|
|Season MVP||Dan Raudabaugh (PHI)|
|American Conference champions||Jacksonville Sharks|
|American Conference runners-up||Philadelphia Soul|
|National Conference champions||San Jose SaberCats|
|National Conference runners-up||Arizona Rattlers|
|Champions||San Jose SaberCats|
|Finals MVP||Reggie Gray, SJ|
The 2015 Arena Football League season was the 28th season in the history of the league. The regular season began on March 27, 2015 and ended on August 8, 2015.
The city of Las Vegas, Nevada was awarded an expansion team on June 18, 2014. The team, named the Las Vegas Outlaws, was the first AFL team to call Las Vegas home since the Las Vegas Gladiators in 2007. Vince Neil, lead singer of the rock band Mötley Crüe, was the majority owner of the expansion franchise.The Outlaws' expansion draft took place on December 22, 2014.
Two teams that competed in 2014 suspended operations (Pittsburgh Power and San Antonio Talons), and their rosters became signable upon offseason assignment process held on December 23, 2014.
The Iowa Barnstormers were the third and final team to leave the AFL for the 2015 season when they joined the Indoor Football League (IFL) on August 27, 2014. In 2015 all games were televised, most on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, and especially on ESPN3 (available online through WatchESPN) and some on the CBS Sports Network.
On July 15, the league took over the daily operations of the Las Vegas Outlaws and New Orleans VooDoo after financial problems and declining attendance. As a result, their game against each other (which was set to be played on the 25th) was cancelled and declared a tie, only the 3rd in AFL history and the only cancellation in league history. The league ran both teams to the end of the season with the intent of looking for new ownership in the offseason but on August 9, the day following the conclusion of the regular season, both teams ceased operations. Las Vegas had qualified for a playoff spot, the final one in the National Conference, but the league's Board of Directors voted against their inclusion in the postseason, considering that with no team ownership, there was no funding for the team.The Outlaws were replaced in the playoffs by the Portland Thunder, who had finished last in their division but had the better record of the two remaining non-playoff National Conference teams, meaning that all teams in the Pacific Division made the playoffs.
|American||East||Cleveland Gladiators, New Orleans VooDoo, Philadelphia Soul|
|South||Jacksonville Sharks, Orlando Predators, Tampa Bay Storm|
|National||Pacific||Portland Thunder, San Jose SaberCats, Spokane Shock|
|West||Arizona Rattlers, Las Vegas Outlaws, Los Angeles Kiss|
|Conference Semifinals||Conference Championships||ArenaBowl XXVIII|
|National||August 14||11:00 p.m. EDT||Portland Thunder||28–55||San Jose Sabercats||SAP Center at San Jose|
|American||August 15||5:00 p.m. EDT||Cleveland Gladiators||35–47||Philadelphia Soul||Wells Fargo Center|
|American||August 15||7:30 p.m. EDT||Jacksonville Sharks||55–33||Orlando Predators||Amway Center|
|National||August 15||9:00 p.m. EDT||Spokane Shock||41–72||Arizona Rattlers||Talking Stick Resort Arena|
|National||August 22||8:00 p.m. EDT||Arizona Rattlers||67–70||San Jose SaberCats||Stockton Arena|
|American||August 23||5:00 p.m. EDT||Jacksonville Sharks||61–56||Philadelphia Soul||Wells Fargo Center|
|August 29||7:00 p.m. EDT||Jacksonville Sharks||47–68||San Jose SaberCats||Stockton Arena|
The Arena Football League (AFL) was a professional indoor American football league in the United States. It was founded in 1987, making it the third longest-running professional football league in North America after the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the National Football League (NFL) until the AFL closed in 2019. The AFL played 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 Jim Foster, a former executive of the United States Football League (USFL) and the NFL. Each of the league's 32 seasons culminated in the ArenaBowl, with the winner being crowned the league's champion for that season.
The Cleveland Gladiators were an arena football team based in Cleveland, Ohio, United States, and members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The Gladiators played their home games at Quicken Loans Arena, which they shared with the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association and the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League. The franchise was originally based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and then later in Las Vegas, Nevada, before relocating to Cleveland for the 2008 AFL season. The Gladiators qualified for the playoffs eight times in their history, reaching the ArenaBowl in 2014.
The New Orleans VooDoo were a professional arena football team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The VooDoo were a member of the East Division of the American Conference of the Arena Football League (AFL). They played their home games in Smoothie King Center. The VooDoo were unrelated to an earlier AFL team, the New Orleans Night, who had competed in the 1991 and 1992 AFL seasons in the Louisiana Superdome.
The San Jose SaberCats were a professional arena football team based in San Jose, California. The SaberCats had been members of the Arena Football League (AFL) since 1995 ; and until 2015, they belonged to the AFL's National Conference. Over nineteen seasons of play, the SaberCats emerged as one of the Arena Football League's most successful franchises; at the conclusion of the 2015 season, the SaberCats boasted a lifetime regular season record of 198–98. Moreover, the SaberCats had won a total of four AFL Championships. Their lifetime postseason record stood at 19–12.
Aaron Garcia is a former professional American football quarterback who played 19 seasons in the Arena Football League (AFL), from 1995 to 2014. He played college football at Washington State University before transferring to California State University, Sacramento. After retiring from the AFL, Garcia was named the head coach of the Las Vegas Outlaws in September 2014, and was formally introduced as the head coach of the Outlaws on October 11, 2014. Garcia is married to Bryn Garcia and has five children, Gigi, Bella, Anthony, Christian, and Jaxon.
The Kansas City Command were a professional arena football team that played in the Arena Football League (AFL). The team was founded before the 2006 season. Former Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Kevin Porter served as head coach. The team's new head coach in 2011 was Danton Barto; he also coached the AFL's Las Vegas Gladiators, af2's Memphis Xplorers and Manchester Wolves, and the IFL's Arkansas Diamonds.
Michael Louis Hohensee is a former professional football quarterback who played in the United States Football League, Canadian Football League, National Football League and Arena Football League. He most recently the head coach of the AFL's Portland Thunder. He played college football at the University of Minnesota, and was in the AFL for two seasons, from 1987 to 1988. Hohensee has been a head coach since 1990, beginning at the Washington Commandos. He has served as head coach of eight different arena football franchises, winning ArenaBowl XX with the Chicago Rush in 2006.
ArenaBowl XXV was the 25th edition of the championship in the Arena Football League. The National Conference champion, Arizona Rattlers, defeated the American Conference champion, Philadelphia Soul, 72–54. The game was played on August 10, 2012. It was the first ArenaBowl at a neutral site since ArenaBowl XXII in 2008, also played in New Orleans. ArenaBowl XXV was played at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana, home of the New Orleans VooDoo.
The 2013 Orlando Predators season was the 22nd season for the franchise in the Arena Football League. The team was coached by Doug Plank and played their home games at Amway Center. Despite losing their first five games, the Predators recovered enough to qualify for the playoffs. However, they were eliminated by the Philadelphia Soul by a score of 59–55 in the conference semifinals.
The 2013 New Orleans VooDoo season was the seventh season for the franchise in the Arena Football League. The team was coached by Pat O'Hara and played their first three home games at the New Orleans Arena. Due to the renovations to the arena that started immediately following the conclusion of the New Orleans Hornets season, the Voodoo played their remaining six home games at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The VooDoo had a chance to clinch a playoff berth in their final game, but lost to finish the season with a 5–13 record.
The Los Angeles Kiss were a professional arena football team based in Anaheim, California, and members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The Kiss joined the AFL as an expansion team after Los Angeles' previous franchise did not return as a part of Arena Football 1. The team's ownership was a group of Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, members of rock band Kiss, as well as their manager Doc McGhee. The team played its home games at the Honda Center in nearby Anaheim, which they shared with the Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League. The team was featured in the AMC series 4th and Loud.
Dennis Havrilla is an American football quarterback who is currently a free agent. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Arizona Adrenaline of the Indoor Football League (IFL) in 2011. He played college football at Western New Mexico University.
Antonio Narcisse is an American football center who is currently a free agent. He played college football at Portland State. He has been a member of the New Orleans VooDoo, Cleveland Gladiators, Spokane Shock, Utah Blaze, Iowa Barnstormers, Portland Thunder, Pittsburgh Power, Jacksonville Sharks and San Jose SaberCats of the Arena Football League (AFL).
The Las Vegas Outlaws were a professional Arena Football League (AFL) team based in Las Vegas, Nevada. They played in the AFL's National Conference West Division in 2015. The franchise was recently owned by Vince Neil, lead singer for Mötley Crüe and former minority owner of the Jacksonville Sharks. On September 11, 2014, it was announced that Aaron Garcia was to be the team's first head coach.
Darius Reynolds is an American football wide receiver who is currently a wide receiver for the Jacksonville Sharks of the National Arena League (NAL). He first enrolled at Reedley College before transferring to Iowa State University. He attended C. D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge, Virginia. Reynolds has also been a member of the Green Bay Packers, Iowa BarnstormersSan Jose SaberCats and Philadelphia Soul
Tanner Varner is an American football linebacker who is currently a free agent. He first enrolled at Ellsworth Community College before transferring to the University of Northern Iowa. Varner has been a member of the Arkansas Twisters, Grand Rapids Rampage, Iowa Barnstormers, Philadelphia Soul, Omaha Nighthawks, Kansas City Command, San Jose SaberCats, Orlando Predators, Las Vegas Outlaws and Qingdao Clipper.
The 2015 Las Vegas Outlaws season was the first and only season for the expansion franchise in the Arena Football League. The team was coached by Aaron Garcia and played their home games at Thomas & Mack Center. The Outlaws finished their inaugural season 5–12–1, with the tie being a cancelled home game against the VooDoo. Though they qualified for the playoffs, the league announced on August 9 that the Outlaws would cease operations effective immediately, and would therefore not participate in the playoffs.
The 2015 Portland Thunder season was the second season for the arena football franchise in the Arena Football League. The team was coached by Mike Hohensee and played their home games at the Moda Center. The Thunder finished third in the Pacific division and 5–13 for the second straight year, and were also one of two teams to go winless on the road. Despite not qualifying for the playoffs with their win-loss record, because the league elected to cease operations of the Las Vegas Outlaws, who had finished ahead of Portland for the final playoff berth in the National Conference, Portland was awarded a playoff berth in their place. They were defeated in the conference semifinals by the San Jose SaberCats, 55–28.
The 2015 San Jose SaberCats season was the team's 19th in San Jose, California. The team was coached by Darren Arbet and played their home games at the SAP Center at San Jose. They finished first in the Pacific Division with a 17–1 regular season record and went on to defeat the Jacksonville Sharks 68–47 in ArenaBowl XXVIII.
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.