Despite a successful opening weekend of play and strong TV ratings, it was almost game over for the Alliance of American Football just after it got started.
According to The Athletic, the league needed a nine-figure investment following its first week of play just to make payroll.
That investment, $250 million came from Tom Dundon, the owner of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.
Were it not for the influx of cash, it’s unclear what would have happened with the league or if players would have shown up to play their games in Week 2 without being paid for Week 1.
Following his investment, Dundon, who paid $420 million for the Hurricanes in January 2018, will reportedly be named the new league’s chairman on Tuesday.
Also, thanks to cash infusion courtesy of the self-made billionaire, there have now been discussions that the AAF could expand to include a franchise in Raleigh, the home town of the Hurricanes.
“The hope and belief now is that years from now, (the AAF) can look back and consider these some scary growing pains, because this league clearly has a chance to become incredibly successful,” a source told The Athletic. “The opening weekend provided a lot of excitement and hope, even beyond the TV numbers. Obviously, though, the original plan did not include a financial crisis in Week 2.”