Arena Football League takes over New Orleans VooDoo operations _lowres

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- New Orleans Voodoo wide receiver Courtney Smith makes a touchdown catch in front of a small crowd at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Saturday, July 20, 2013.

Update: The Arena Football League announced its control over the Las Vegas Outlaws and the New Orleans VooDoo Tuesday afernoon.

The AFL said both teams will carry on as AFL members without their previous ownership groups and play the remaining games on their 2015 schedules.

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The Arena Football League plans to announce early this week that the league will be taking over the operation of the New Orleans VooDoo and Las Vegas Outlaws through the remainder of the season, according to recent reports.’s Adam Markowitz was the first to report the moves.

Despite the two teams looking to the AFL to take over their respective ownerships, the league plans on playing the rest of the games on both teams’ schedules to complete the remainder of the season, sources told The Advocate.

The only game that has been canceled in the history of the AFL was a 2012 matchup between the Cleveland Gladiators and the Pittsburgh Power, which was forfeited when the majority of the Cleveland players did not show up to the game because of a labor dispute.

According to Markowitz, all of the employees for the VooDoo were dismissed last week but were retained on week-to-week contracts to complete the season.

The VooDoo (2-12) square off against the Tampa Bay Storm (6-8) on Saturday in the VooDoo’s final home game of the regular season at 7 p.m. at the Smoothie King Center. The remaining three games on the Voodoo’s schedule after Friday will all be played on the road.

Reportedly, AFL Commissioner Scott Butera has been aggressively seeking potential new ownership groups to take over the two teams, but only once in league history has a league-owned team been able to find a new owner after the AFL seized control of operations — the Orlando Predators in 2014.

During the 2015 season, the VooDoo played nearly all of its homes games in the first six weeks of the season — with only two games being held at the Smoothie King Center since May 20 — and the attendance numbers weren’t favorable for the team this season.

The VooDoo is averaging a franchise-low 3,839 fans per game when the team plays at home this season, and the team’s average attendance has dropped four of the past five seasons.

The VooDoo and the Outlaws are the only teams this season that have averaged fewer than 7,500 fans per game.

Editor's note: This story was corrected to reflect the VooDoo's final home game of the season is Saturday, not Friday.