SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego is losing its second football team in three years.
The San Diego Fleet's president and general manager said Wednesday they are "shocked and incredibly disappointed" following the Alliance of American Football's decision to suspend football operations.
In a statement, Fleet President Jeff Garner and General Manager Dave Boller expressed their appreciation to fans for the support during the team's first season:
"The San Diego Fleet organization is shocked and incredibly disappointed to learn of chairman Tom Dundon’s decision to suspend football operations of The Alliance of American Football (AAF), as announced yesterday. We are grateful to our players, coaches, administrative staff members, corporate partners and especially to our fans for their faith in our product and support of our team. From the inception of the league, our goal was to return high-caliber professional football back to San Diego. Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian delivered with a quality product that fans consumed on national TV, online and here in San Diego, where their dedication to the new home team was abundantly evident by the electric atmosphere at SDCCU Stadium."
The team said they are working with the league to sort out ticket refunds in the future.
Tuesday, the AAF suspended football operations eight games into its 10-game season, leaving the league and its fans in limbo. The Fleet's offices at SDCCU Stadium Tuesday sported a sign simply reading, "we're closed for the remainder of the day."
AAF Chairman Tom Dundon, who also owns the AAF's Carolina Hurricanes, was reportedly funding the league on a week-to-week basis, according to The Action Network's Darren Rovell. Dundon reportedly made the decision to suspend operations against the wishes of league co-founders.
As the league hoped to become a feeder system to the National Football League, it remained unclear how the AAF would have secured NFL players.
Through eight games, the Fleet held a 3-5 record and was tied for third in the four-team Western Conference. Multiple games at SDCCU Stadium drew more than 20,000 in attendance for the inaugural season.