The Albany Empire and 5 additional teams have shut down due to a lawsuit that has led to the Arena Football League to rethink their strategy moving forward.

This story is really a bummer to report on. After winning the Arena League Football Championship last season, the Albany Empire have shut down team operations according to a Times Union story. Due to a pending lawsuit involving 'workers compensation coverage' the league has been forced to take a look at how their business operates.

The Times Union says along with the Empire, 5 other franchises were informed the league was shutting down local team operations for coaches, staff and players. This could mean the end of the local arena football  league as we know it as a league official told the Times Union the league could go on as a traveling league, where games take place in different cities.

The Empire did release an official statement, saying they are looking into ways to overcome the financial problems to continue operations, So at this point, no final decision has been made to suspend league operations. If the league does end up shutting down, the league says they will release info about refunds at that time. Let's hoe the league is able to come up with some sort of solution to get things back up and running.

First and foremost, I feel terrible for all Empire coaches, staff and players. Collectively they put their heart and soul into not only winning football games every week, but just being great people by giving so much back to our local communities. They not only played football here, they really have woven themselves into our local Capital Region cities and towns.

That said, what a fun ride it has been with the Empire the last 2 years, and how awesome was it to be part of a championship season last year? They may take the team away, but we will always have the great memories of a championship run and the great friendships we forged with everyone at the Albany Empire along the way.