- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2009

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Even while on hiatus, the Arena Football League can’t remain intact.

The Los Angeles Avengers dropped out of the indoor league, releasing a statement on its Web site Monday it “has terminated its participation in the Arena Football League.” The AFL suspended operations for this season, but has said it plans to play next year after a reorganization.

“The entire Avengers organization extends heartfelt thanks to the fans who cheered on their team,” the team’s statement said. “It was their faithful support that kept the Avengers vibrant and energized for nearly a decade.”

A member of the league for nine seasons, the Avengers are owned by Casey Wasserman, who has been a power broker within the AFL. Wasserman paid $5 million for the franchise a decade ago and it was valued at as much as four times that amount before the AFL ran into organizational problems.

David Baker resigned as commissioner in July after 12 years on the job, sending the AFL into a downward spiral. In October, the New Orleans VooDoo, owned by Saints owner Tom Benson, went out of business.

Wasserman did not agree with the reorganization plan being discussed by AFL team owners, and decided to terminate the Avengers, the only professional football team in the L.A. area.

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