|2012 Arena Football League season|
|League||Arena Football League|
|Duration||March 9, 2012 – August 10, 2012|
|Season champions||Philadelphia Soul|
|Season MVP||Tommy Grady, UTA|
|American Conference champions||Philadelphia Soul|
|American Conference runners-up||Jacksonville Sharks|
|National Conference champions||Arizona Rattlers|
|National Conference runners-up||Utah Blaze|
|Finals MVP||Nick Davila, ARZ|
The 2012 Arena Football League season was the 25th season in the history of the league. The regular season began on March 9, 2012 with a game between the Pittsburgh Power and the Orlando Predators and ended on July 22, 2012 with a game between the Utah Blaze and Philadelphia Soul. The Arizona Rattlers defeated the Philadelphia Soul by a 72–54 score in ArenaBowl XXV on August 10, 2012 to conclude the playoffs.
The only franchise that relocated during the offseason was the Tulsa Talons, which became the San Antonio Talons following a move to San Antonio, Texas, where the team announced they would play at the Alamodome.
When the 2012 schedule was announced, the Dallas Vigilantes were left off without any explanation on the status of the franchise. No expansion teams were added for the 2012 season.
On March 9, 2012, the day the AFL was to begin play, the Arena Football League Players Association went on strike, seeking a doubling of their wages. The game between the Pittsburgh Power and Orlando Predators scheduled for that night was played as scheduled with replacement players making up about three-quarters of the roster. However, players began crossing the picket line by the second quarter and the AFL announced the work stoppage ended just two hours after the game ended.
On June 8, the Cleveland Gladiators were forced to forfeit a week 14 matchup against the Pittsburgh Power when they were unable to field enough players to play as a result of several of their players going on strike. It was the first forfeited game in the history of the league. This news came after the NFL Network chose not to air a contest between the Milwaukee Mustangs and Philadelphia Soul in the network's weekly Friday night broadcast, citing a "labor uncertainty." In the following week, after reports of a potential lockout rose, the NFL Network chose to air a War on I-4 game between the Tampa Bay Storm and the Orlando Predators via tape delay on June 16, the day after the game took place.
Regular season standings
|(1) Philadelphia Soul||15||3||.833||1228||919||4–2||12–2||7–2||8–1|
|(2) Jacksonville Sharks||10||8||.556||930||884||4–4||8–6||6–4||4–4|
|(3) Georgia Force||9||9||.500||812||923||5–3||8–5||5–4||4–5|
|(4) New Orleans VooDoo[b]||8||10||.444||979||995||5–3||7–5||4–5||4–5|
|Tampa Bay Storm||8||10||.444||1021||1108||4–4||7–7||7–2||1–8|
|(1) San Antonio Talons||14||4||.778||1042||949||5–1||9–4||8–1||6–3|
|Kansas City Command||3||15||.167||705||938||0–6||1–12||2–7||1–8|
|(2) Arizona Rattlers||13||5||.722||1118||880||3–3||8–5||7–2||6–3|
|(3) San Jose SaberCats[c]||12||6||.667||1143||1027||4–2||10–4||8–1||4–5|
|(4) Utah Blaze||12||6||.667||1128||1051||4–2||8–4||6–3||6–3|
Eight teams qualified 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
- a Milwaukee finished in third place in the East Division based on a head-to-head sweep over Pittsburgh.
- b New Orleans clinched the American Conference's No. 4 seed based on a greater won-loss percentage among games between New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and Cleveland. (New Orleans: 2–1, Tampa Bay: 2–2, Cleveland: 1–2)
- c San Jose clinched the National Conference's No. 3 seed based on their greater point differential in head-to-head competition with Utah.
|Conference Semifinals||Conference Championship||ArenaBowl XXV|
|Conference||Date||Kickoff||Away||Home||Final score||Game site||Recap|
|National||July 27||8:00 p.m. EDT||Utah Blaze||San Antonio Talons||Utah, 35–34||Alamodome|||
|American||July 28||7:00 p.m. EDT||Georgia Force||Jacksonville Sharks||Jacksonville, 58–56||Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena|||
|American||July 28||7:05 p.m. EDT||New Orleans VooDoo||Philadelphia Soul||Philadelphia, 66–53||Wells Fargo Center|||
|National||July 28||10:00 p.m. EDT||San Jose SaberCats||Arizona Rattlers||Arizona, 51–48||US Airways Center|||
|Conference||Date||Kickoff||Away||Home||Final score||Game site||Recap|
|American||August 3||8:00 p.m. EDT||Jacksonville Sharks||Philadelphia Soul||Philadelphia, 89–34||Wells Fargo Center|||
|National||August 4||10:00 p.m. EDT||Utah Blaze||Arizona Rattlers||Arizona, 75–69||US Airways Center|||
|Date||Kickoff||Away||Home||Final score||Game site||Recap|
|August 10||10:30 p.m. EDT||Arizona Rattlers||Philadelphia Soul||Arizona, 72–54||New Orleans Arena|||
- "2012 AFL Schedule Announced". San Antonio Talons. October 6, 2011. Archived from the original on February 22, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
- "Pro Football Has Finally Arrived in San Antonio". San Antonio Talons (Press release). September 27, 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Arena Football League officials prepared for work stoppage[permanent dead link]. Des Moines Register.
-  Archived 2012-03-10 at the Wayback Machine. Bright House Sports Network (March 9, 2012). Retrieved March 10, 2012.
- Oliver, Richard (March 10, 2012). Players' strike loses momentum. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
- "Cleveland forfeits matchup against Pittsburgh". ArenaFan.com. June 8, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2012.
- Manoloff, Dennis (June 8, 2012). "Cleveland Gladiators players' strike causes forfeit loss to Pittsburgh Power". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
- "AFL broadcast will not air nationally". ArenaFan.com. June 8, 2012. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
- DiPoala, Jerry (June 12, 2012). "Union: Arena League threatens lockout". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- Obert, Richard (June 14, 2012). "Arena Football League threatening lock out". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- Markowitz, Adam (June 12, 2012). "Labor Dispute Rages On, NFL Network Pulls Plug On Live Broadcasts". ArenaFan.com. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- "AFL, AFLPU Agree to Terms on Multi-Year CBA". ArenaFan.com. June 17, 2012. Archived from the original on June 18, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
- "AFL Playoff Qualification, Selection of Teams". Arenafan.com. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- "Utah Holds on, Advance to Conference Championship". Arena Football League. July 28, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2012.[dead link]
- "Sharks Defeat Force in Nail-Biter, 58–56". Arena Football League. July 29, 2012. Archived from the original on August 1, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
- "Soul Top VooDoo, 66–53". Arena Football League. July 28, 2012. Archived from the original on August 1, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
- "Rattlers Eliminate SaberCats in 51–48 win". Arena Football League. July 29, 2012. Archived from the original on August 1, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- "Soul Eliminate Sharks 89–34". Arena Football League. August 3, 2012. Archived from the original on August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
- "Rattlers Defeat Blaze, 75–69, in Exciting Finish". Arena Football League. August 5, 2012. Archived from the original on August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
- AFL Communications (August 11, 2012). "Arizona Rattlers Win Avitae ArenaBowl XXV". Arena Football League. Archived from the original on August 15, 2012. Retrieved August 11, 2012.