|2016 Arena Football League season|
|League||Arena Football League|
|Duration||April 1, 2016 – August 26, 2016|
|Season MVP||Nick Davila, ARZ|
|American Conference champions||Philadelphia Soul|
|American Conference runners-up||Jacksonville Sharks|
|National Conference champions||Arizona Rattlers|
|National Conference runners-up||Cleveland Gladiators|
|Finals MVP||Shaun Kauleinamoku, PHI|
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.
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.The AFL claimed ownership of the Shock name, forcing the team to rename itself the Spokane Empire. On October 30, 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. 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. The league took over operations of the former Portland Thunder in January 2016 and rebranded it as the Portland Steel. The 2016 schedule was announced on December 10, 2015.
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.
|American||Jacksonville Sharks, Orlando Predators, Philadelphia Soul, Tampa Bay Storm|
|National||Arizona Rattlers, Cleveland Gladiators, Los Angeles Kiss, Portland Steel|
x - Clinched conference title.
|Conference Semifinals||Conference Championships||ArenaBowl XXIX|
|American||August 6||7:00 p.m. EDT||Jacksonville Sharks||69–68 (OT)||Orlando Predators||Amway Center|
|National||August 6||10:00 p.m. EDT||Portland Steel||40–84||Arizona Rattlers||Talking Stick Resort Arena|
|American||August 7||6:00 p.m. EDT||Tampa Bay Storm||41–63||Philadelphia Soul||PPL Center|
|National||August 7||6:00 p.m. EDT||Cleveland Gladiators||56–52||Los Angeles Kiss||Valley View Casino Center|
|National||August 13||9:30 p.m. EDT||Cleveland Gladiators||41–82||Arizona Rattlers||Talking Stick Resort Arena|
|American||August 14||6:00 p.m. EDT||Jacksonville Sharks||50–55||Philadelphia Soul||PPL Center|
|August 26||7:00 PM EDT||Philadelphia Soul||56–42||Arizona Rattlers||Gila River 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.
The Arizona Rattlers are a professional indoor American football team based in Glendale, Arizona. They are currently members of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The Rattlers were founded in 1992 as an expansion team in the Arena Football League and were the third oldest active franchise in the AFL until their departure in 2016. They play their home games Gila River Arena while their former primary home, Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix undergoes renovations. The Rattlers are led by head coach Kevin Guy. Since the team's establishment in 1992, the Rattlers have won ten division titles and have played in nine ArenaBowl Championship games, winning championships in 1994, 1997, 2012, 2013, 2014. The Rattlers also won the 2017 United Bowl in their first season in the IFL.
The Philadelphia Soul were a professional arena football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and competed in the Arena Football League (AFL). The Soul made five ArenaBowl appearances, winning their first appearance and losing their next two appearances. The Soul won in their fourth appearance, against the Rattlers in 2016, winning 56–42. They also won in their fifth appearance in 2017 against the Tampa Bay Storm, winning 44–40.
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.
The Spokane Shock are a professional indoor American football team based in Spokane, Washington, playing their home games at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. The team was initially a member of arenafootball2 (af2), the Shock won division titles in all four seasons and ArenaCups in 2006 and 2009 before they joined the Arena Football League (AFL) in its 2010 relaunch. The team advanced to the playoffs three times after joining the AFL, winning ArenaBowl XXIII in their first season, making them the only arena football franchise to win both the ArenaCup and the ArenaBowl.
Clint Dolezel is an American football coach and former professional arena football player in the Arena Football League (AFL). He was named the inaugural head coach of the Frisco Fighters in the Indoor Football League before the 2020 season.
Larry Brackins is an American football wide receiver who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played college football at Pearl River Community College. Brackins has also been a member of the New York Jets, New York Sentinels, Philadelphia Soul, Dallas Vigilantes, Orlando Predators and Cleveland Gladiators.
James Beaumont "Beau" Bell is a former American football linebacker. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He played college football at UNLV. Bell was also a member of the Omaha Nighthawks, Las Vegas Locomotives, Spokane Shock, BC Lions, Los Angeles Kiss and Philadelphia Soul.
Nick Davila is an arena football quarterback who is currently a free agent. A three-time AFL champion, and three-time MVP, he also played for the Arizona Rattlers from 2010 to 2016. Davila is of Mexican American descent. He is nicknamed the "Latin Laser". In 2017, he was the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach for the Rattlers of the Indoor Football League (IFL), who went on to win the 2017 United Bowl.
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.
Wayne Luis Tribue is an American football guard who is currently a free agent. He played college football at Temple. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Denver Broncos in 2012.
The 2013 Arena Football League season was the 26th season in the history of the league. The regular season began on March 23, 2013, with a five-game slate, the first of which to kick off being between the Utah Blaze and the Pittsburgh Power, and ended on July 27, 2013, with the Utah Blaze and Cleveland Gladiators as the last game to kick off. The Arizona Rattlers defeated the Philadelphia Soul by a 48–39 score in ArenaBowl XXVI to conclude the league's playoffs.
The 2014 Arena Football League season was the 27th season in the history of the league. The regular season began on March 14, 2014 and ended on July 26, 2014.
Shaun Kauleinamoku is an arena football wide receiver who is currently a free agent. He played collegiately at Western Oregon University. Kauleinamoku has also been member of the Spokane Shock, San Antonio Talons, Utah Blaze, Pittsburgh Power and Shanghai Skywalkers.
Brandon Thompkins is an arena football wide receiver who is currently a free agent.
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 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.
ArenaBowl XXIX was the championship game of the 2016 Arena Football League season. It was played between the American Conference Champion Philadelphia Soul and the National Conference Champion Arizona Rattlers. The game was played at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
The 2017 Arena Football League season was the 30th season in the history of the Arena Football League (AFL). Prior to the start of the season, the league contracted to five teams. Due to this, for the first time since 1991, the league was not divided into conferences or divisions. The 14-game regular season began on April 7, 2017, when the two new teams, the Baltimore Brigade and the Washington Valor, faced off in the Verizon Center, and ended on August 5, 2017, when the Tampa Bay Storm lost against the Philadelphia Soul.
Dwayne Hollis is an arena football defensive back who is currently a free agent. He played college football at North Carolina Wesleyan College and attended Denbigh High School in Newport News, Virginia. He has also been a member of the Helsinki Roosters, Lehigh Valley Steelhawks, Trenton Freedom, Shanghai Skywalkers, and Atlanta Legends.