The Pro Football Hall of Fame will be unveiling on Monday its first-ever exhibit dedicated to chronicling the past, present and future of the Arena Football League.
The AFL kicks off its 21st season on March 1 with 19 teams.
"The Arena Football League is a mature property that has experienced explosive growth in recent years," said Pro Football Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Steve Perry. "A true success story, the AFL has earned its place in pro football history and the Pro Football Hall of Fame."
Since 2002, the AFL's total viewership has increased from 12 million viewers to 65 million, its team values from $12 million to $20 million and its average per game attendance from 9,957 to 12,378.
When combined with arenafootball2, the AFL's minor league, Arena Football will be played in 49 markets in 2007.
"There are many milestones for a growing sports league, but I can't think of one that is more meaningful for our league than an exhibit in the Pro Football Hall of Fame," said AFL Commissioner David Baker, who will participate with Perry in Monday's groundbreaking ceremony at the hall.
The exhibit itself will feature both AFL historical and interactive elements that are designed to illustrate the league's fast-paced action. A large photomural of an AFL field will serve as the backdrop to a display that will feature a large video screen — which will play a continuous two-minute highlight loop — a display panel and two interactive touch screens that will host a variety of videos designed to communicate the league's past, present and future. The display will be built on real AFL turf, and visitors will be able to examine an official AFL football, jersey and helmet.