What Year Did The AFL and NFL Merge?

The AFL and NFL merged in 1966, creating the Super Bowl.

The AFL and NFL Merger

In 1970, the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL) completed their merger. This was a huge moment in American football history. The two leagues had been competing against each other for years, and finally came together to form one league. This merger changed the landscape of American football forever.

The two leagues merge in 1966

In 1966, the NFL and AFL completed their historic merger, creating one football league with two conferences: the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The first AFL-NFL World Championship Game—later renamed the Super Bowl—was played in 1967. Today, the NFC has 16 teams and the AFC has 14 teams.

The AFL-NFL World Championship Game is created

In January 1966, the newly created AFL-NFL World Championship Game (later renamed the Super Bowl) was played for the first time. This game, between the champions of the two rival leagues, eventually became the most important annual sporting event in the United States. From its humble beginnings in a Los Angeles hotel ballroom in 1920, professional football had become America’s most popular spectator sport.

Before the Merger

The NFL and AFL were two separate football leagues before they merged in 1970. The NFL was founded in 1920, while the AFL was founded in 1960. The two leagues had different rules, which made it difficult for them to compete against each other.

The two leagues compete against each other

In the early 1960s, the National Football League (NFL) was on top of the world. The league was thriving, with high television ratings and growing popularity. The American Football League (AFL) was a new league that had started in 1960 and was quickly gaining ground. The two leagues were in a fierce competition for players, fans, and television viewers. In 1966, the two leagues reached an agreement to merge into one league: the NFL.

The NFL is the more dominant league

The National Football League (NFL) is the most popular and dominant professional American football league in the world. It was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) before renaming itself the National Football League in 1922. The NFL merged with the AFL in 1966, creating a single league with two conferences: the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC).

After the Merger

After the AFL and NFL merged in 1970, the NFL became the only professional American football league. But the effects of the merger were felt far beyond just the football world. The merger had a profound and lasting impact on American society and culture.

The two leagues are more evenly matched

In 1970, the AFL and NFL completed their merger, creating one football league with two conferences — the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). The NFL kept its name and the AFC took on the name of the former AFL. The merger made sense for a number of reasons. For one thing, the two leagues were more evenly matched than they had been in previous years. The AFL had been steadily gaining ground on the NFL in terms of competitiveness, and by merging the two leagues, each team could draw players from a larger pool of talent. In addition, the television rights to games would be worth more if they were sold as a package deal that included games from both leagues. Finally, by merging, the leagues could eliminate scheduling conflicts between games played by teams in different conferences.

The Super Bowl becomes the biggest sporting event in the United States

In 1967, the Super Bowl became the biggest sporting event in the United States, surpassing the World Series. The game has been held every year since, with the exception of 1983, when it was moved from its traditional position on Sunday afternoon to Monday night in order to avoid a conflict with a Sunday night prime-time NFL game.

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