The Arena Football League and its players struck a tentative labor agreement Thursday, allowing the league to seek dismissal of two legal cases and allowing players to choose between two proposed unions.
The agreement would settle an antitrust case filed against the league by several of its players and a slate of unfair-labor-practice charges filed against the league by the National Labor Relations Board.
"This would really resolve all that and allow us to focus on building the league," Commissioner C. David Baker said.
League owners last February threatened to cancel the 2000 season, after several players filed the antitrust suit in U.S. District Court. The players formed Arena Football League Players Assn. (AFLPA), with the backing of the NFL Players Assn., but did not unionize because a collective bargaining agreement would have exempted the league from the antitrust litigation.
League owners later recognized the rival Arena Football League Players Organizing Committee (AFLPOC) as the official union of AFL players. The league and the AFLPOC negotiated an interim labor agreement, and the season was restored in full.