2011 was the 24th season in the history of the league. The regular season began on March 11, 2011 and ended on July 23, 2011. Arena Football League season The  Jacksonville Sharks, in their second year of existence, defeated the Arizona Rattlers 73–70 in ArenaBowl XXIV on August 12, 2011 to conclude the playoffs.
Three franchises that competed in the
2008 season, the Philadelphia Soul, San Jose SaberCats, and Kansas City Command (formerly the Kansas City Brigade), returned to competition in the 2011 season, after an announcement made on June 19, 2010.
Two teams that competed in
2010 relocated and have assumed the history of former AFL franchises. It was announced on August 21, 2010 that the Alabama Vipers would become the Georgia Force, and on September 14, 2010 it was revealed that the  Bossier–Shreveport Battle Wings would become the New Orleans VooDoo.
The Milwaukee Iron officially changed its name to the
Milwaukee Mustangs on January 27, 2011, taking the name of the original franchise.
The city of
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was awarded an expansion team on August 20, 2010. The team, named the Pittsburgh Power, was the first AFL team to call Pittsburgh home since the Pittsburgh Gladiators, one of the league's four original franchises. The Gladiators moved to Tampa, Florida and became the Tampa Bay Storm after the 1990 season.
The only team that did not return from the 2010 season was the
Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz. Owner Phil Miller made the announcement on October 21, 2010, citing an inability to find minority investors as one reason for the decision to not compete.
With several teams relocating, returning, or leaving, the AFL announced the divisional alignment for 2011 on October 21, 2010. Both conferences each had nine teams placed in two divisions.
Cleveland Gladiators, Milwaukee Mustangs, Philadelphia Soul, Pittsburgh Power
Georgia Force, Jacksonville Sharks, New Orleans VooDoo, Orlando Predators, Tampa Bay Storm
Chicago Rush, Dallas Vigilantes, Iowa Barnstormers, Kansas City Command, Tulsa Talons
Arizona Rattlers, San Jose SaberCats, Spokane Shock, Utah Blaze
Regular season schedule
Each team played an 18-game regular season with two bye weeks over the course of 20 weeks, making it the longest schedule in the history of the league. The first game of the season was played on March 11, 2011. The
Pittsburgh Power began their inaugural season against the Philadelphia Soul, who played their first game since winning ArenaBowl XXII in 2008.
On July 9, the
Spokane Shock and Utah Blaze played in a game billed as the "Joe Albi Stadium Summer Classic". The game was played outdoors at Joe Albi Stadium under normal arena football rules.
Regular season standings
Eight teams qualify for the playoffs: four teams from each conference, of which two are division champions and the other two have the best records of the teams remaining.
Green indicates clinched playoff berth
Blue indicates division champion Gray indicates division champion and conference's best record
Georgia clinched the No. 3 seed in the American Conference based on their greater point differential in head-to-head competition with Orlando. a Spokane clinched the No. 4 seed in the National Conference based on their greater point differential in head-to-head competition with Utah. b
Aaron Garcia, Jacksonville
Nick Davila, Arizona
Derrick Ross, Dallas
Chad Cook, San Jose
Randy Degg, Jacksonville
Brennan Carvalho, Arizona
Cleveland Richard Ranglin, Kansas City
Mark Lewis, San Jose Devin Clark, Arizona
Rod Windsor, Arizona Anthony Jones, Dallas Jesse Schmidt, Iowa
Maurice Purify, Georgia Donovan Morgan, Philadelphia Reggie Gray, Chicago
Anttaj Hawthorne, Arizona Tim McGill, Tampa Bay Caesar Rayford, Utah
Dusty Bear, Dallas Derrick Summers, Jacksonville Mike Lewis, Utah
Cliff Dukes, Tampa Bay
Tim Cheatwood, Cleveland
Kelvin Morris, Chicago
Marlon Moye-Moore, Orlando
Rayshaun Kizer, Orlando Micheaux Robinson, Jacksonville Vic Hall, Chicago
Andre Jones, Milwaukee Virgil Gray, Arizona J.C. Neal, Tulsa
On August 8, 2011, the All-Ironman team was announced, with
P. J. Berry of the New Orleans VooDoo being named the Ironman of the Year.