Lively Tales About Dead Teams

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2011-2012 Milwaukee Mustangs

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Arena Football League (2011-2012)

Born: January 27, 2011 – Re-branded from Milwaukee Iron
Folded: October 11, 2012

Arena: The Bradley Center

Team Colors:

Owners: Chris Rebholz, Todd Hansen & Dave Bahl

Arena Football League Championships: None

 

The Milwaukee Mustangs of 2011-2012 were a failed brand revival of Milwaukee’s popular Arena Football League franchise of the 1990’s.  The original Mustangs often drew capacity crowds to the Bradley Center in the mid-1990’s before building lease problems doomed the team in 2001.

The “new” Mustangs started play in 2009 as the Milwaukee Iron in AF2, a lower-budget version of Arena Football played primarily in minor league markets. That same year, the original major-market AFL filed for bankruptcy and went out of business. A new investment group led by the poorer AF2 owners purchased the AFL intellectual property rights from the bankruptcy court and re-organized the Arena Football League in 2010. AF2 went out of business in the process. The Iron joined the new AFL as a founding member in 2010. The franchise re-claimed the old “Mustangs” name prior to the AFL’s second season in 2010.

The re-branding failed miserably. The Mustangs announced 2011 attendance average of 3,953 for 9 dates at the Bradley Center was the worst figure in the 18-team Arena Football League. After a grim 5-13 season in 2012, the club effectively went out of business that October. The league tried to save face by spinning the Mustangs’ departure as an indefinite leave of absence. But in reality indoor football was dead in Milwaukee.

The Mustangs’ league membership was transferred to Oregon trucking magnate Terry Emmert in the fall of 2013. The former Mustangs franchise became the Portland Thunder for the 2014 season.

 

Milwaukee Mustangs Memorabilia

 

Links

Arena Football League Media Guides

Arena Football League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

December 28th, 2016 at 11:52 pm

1994-2001 Milwaukee Mustangs

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Milwaukee MustangsArena Football League (1994-2001)

Born: August 9, 1993 –  Arena Football expansion franchise.
Folded: 2001

Arena: The Bradley Center (17,819)

Team Colors: Purple, Teal & Black

Owner: Andrew Vallozzi

Arena Bowl Championships: None

 

The Milwaukee Mustangs were a popular indoor football attraction in Wisconsin’s largest city during the mid-to-late 1990’s.  Although rarely in serious contention for the Arena Bowl championship – the Mustangs had only two winning seasons out of eight and never advanced beyond the playoff quarterfinals – they regularly ranked among Arena Football League attendance leaders.

During the Mustangs’ debut season in 1994, the team went winless in 12 games with former NFL signal callerJohn Fourcadeat quarterback.  But the expansion team still averaged 14,231 fans for six home dates, which was third best in the 11-team league.  During the 1996 season – the franchise’s high water mark with a 10-4 record – the Mustangs tied for the league lead in attendance with 15,567 fans on average for seven openings.

The Milwaukee Mustangs were owned throughout their existence by the Vallozzi family.  During the Mustangs’ final season in 2001 the Vallozzi’s feuded publicly with management of the Bradley Center over date conflicts and planned renovation projects.  The Mustangs closed their doors in August 2001 and blamed the closure of the team on the intractable arena disputes.

Arena football returned to Milwaukee in 2009 with the formation of the Milwaukee Iron of Arena Football 2, which was initially owned by the Vallozzi’s as well.  The new franchise was unable to rekindle Milwaukee’s earlier enthusiasm for the sport, despite reclaiming the Mustangs brand name in 2011.  The Vallozzi’s bailed out after the 2010 season and the Iron/Mustangs franchise shut down for good after the 2012 season.

 

Milwaukee Mustangs Memorabilia

 

Mustangs Video

Mustangs host the Cleveland Thunderbolts at the Bradley Center on July 22, 1994.

 

 

Links

Arena Football League Media Guides

Arena Football League Programs

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Written by AC

April 27th, 2014 at 12:16 am

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