Baker receives three-year extension

Updated: October 10, 2007, 3:28 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- David Baker's contract as commissioner of the Arena Football League was extended by three years Wednesday.

Baker, who has overseen the growth of the league to where franchises are worth upward of $20 million, has been commissioner since 1996. The AFL currently has 19 teams and is partly owned by ESPN, which televises many of its games.

"I am honored to serve and excited about the progress that can be made in another term as AFL commissioner," Baker said. "Participating in the Arena Football League's progress has been one of the greatest joys of my professional life."

Several team owners praised Baker for his tireless efforts to make the AFL something more than a fringe professional sports league. Baker has also overseen the development of afl2, a minor league with 30 teams throughout the nation.

Team owners with NFL connections include Jerry Jones, Tom Benson and John Elway.

"Ownership was unanimous in its desire to extend commissioner Baker's contract," said Jim Renacci, co-owner of the Columbus Destroyers and vice chairman of the AFL Executive Committee who was in charge of heading up negotiations for Baker's extension. "It has been through his leadership that the AFL has experienced its unprecedented growth."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press