Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

AFL Orlando Predators suspend operations; Tampa Bay Storm 'looking forward to 2017'

TAMPA — The Orlando Predators, one of the most successful franchises in the Arena Football League, are suspending operations, they announced Wednesday. The Predators cited the reduced number of teams remaining in the league — seven with Orlando's exit — and "pending disagreements with the league," they said on their website.

Orlando won two ArenaBowl championships and reached the championship game seven times in the franchise's 25 years.

The Storm was its biggest rival; their games were nicknamed the "War on I-4." The Storm and Predators played 61 times, eight in the playoffs, and Orlando led the all-time series 34-27.

"We are saddened to see our biggest rival close its doors and no longer operate," Storm president Derrick Brooks, the Bucs' Hall of Fame linebacker, said in a statement. "However, we will continue to support the Arena Football League and are looking forward to the upcoming 2017 season."

Jay Gruden, current coach of Washington in the NFL, played for the Storm and the Predators. Gruden became coach of the Predators in 1998 and led them to a 62-31 thumping of the Storm in ArenaBowl XII. Gruden won another championship in 2000. He then played quarterback for the Predators in 2002 and 2003.

AFL Orlando Predators suspend operations; Tampa Bay Storm 'looking forward to 2017' 10/12/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 9:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs bring back long snapper Andrew DePaola to compete

    Bucs

    Just 12 days before the NFL makes its final cuts, the Bucs have added another position battle, signing back long snapper Andrew DePaola to compete with veteran Garrison Sanborn.

    Andrew DePaola is making an impressive recovery from the torn ACL he suffered in last year's season finale against Carolina in January.  [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. My AP preseason All-America ballot

    Blogs

    Now that the AP's preseason All-America team has been released, I'll share what I submitted.

  3. 'Hard Knocks' star Bullough facing numbers game

    Bucs

    Bucs undrafted rookie linebacker Riley Bullough is perhaps the surprise star of HBO's "Hard Knocks" and has been productive in two preseason games, but Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said Tuesday that he's caught in a numbers game competing for a backup spot on the Tampa Bay roster.

    Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said Riley Bullough is caught in a numbers game competing for a backup spot on the Tampa Bay roster. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Two FSU Seminoles, two Florida Gators honored as AP preseason All-Americans

    Blogs

    Florida State safety Derwin James and cornerback Tarvarus McFadden were both named AP first-team, preseason All-Americans on Tuesday.

  5. 'Hard Knocks' effect: Jameis Winston jersey sales surging

    Bucs

    Two weeks into the national publicity of HBO's "Hard Knocks," Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's No. 3 jerseys are selling well, as he made the biggest leap in this week's jersey report from Dick's Sporting Goods.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's No. 3 jerseys are selling well. [Getty Images]