The Champions Indoor Football League board of directors has announced an expansion team located in Gillette, Wyoming for the upcoming 2021 season. With the addition of the new expansion team, it brings the total number of teams in the CIF to 8 for the upcoming season of play, with other teams based in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma & Texas. Wyoming Mustangs will call the Campbell County Arena home for the 11 game regular season schedule, with the inaugural game scheduled to kick off on March 27th.
“We have been working with Keith and his staff for nearly two years on bringing a franchise to the Champions Indoor Football League”, states CIF Commissioner Ricky Bertz. Bertz also added, “They have spent a large amount of time and resources in ensuring that their business plan is one that is built on a foundation of success. The experience that the entire organization has in this industry will help to ensure that success, the city of Gillette and the surrounding communities will have a new exciting and entertaining team to call their own that they can be proud of.”
Keith Russ, managing partner of the Mustangs shared the following comments, “We’re thankful for the opportunity provided to us by the City of Gillette and the CIF to bring this exciting and fast paced game to the state of Wyoming. For those fans who have never seen a professional indoor football game, they will be in for quite a show and leave our games thoroughly entertained. As impressed as the fans will be by the players and their athletic abilities on the football field, those same fans will be equally impressed with their actions off the field through their involvement in the community. The community will be providing these players the ability to pursue their goals and dreams of playing this game, in return those players will continuously work on giving back to community without exception”.
The Champions Indoor Football League is entering its 7th season of play in March of 2021 and will be announcing the updated schedule next week. For more information on the CIF or the Wyoming Mustangs please visit their websites at www.gocif.net or www.wyomingmustangsfootball.com.
Written by Terry Tebrugge
Champions Indoor Football announced their 2021 game schedule on Tuesday. They also announced a major change in their online game streaming for the upcoming season.
The 2021 regular season game schedule is slightly reduced from past seasons, down from 12 games for each team to just 10 (five home and five away). All member teams from the 2019 season are returning in 2021, including the Amarillo Venom, Oklahoma Flying Aces, Omaha Beef, Salina Liberty, Sioux City Bandits, and Wichita Force. Joining them is the West Texas Warbirds. Based out of Odessa, Texas, the Warbirds were to have begun play in the CIF in 2020, before the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their inaugural season will now take place in 2021.
The league will utilize a four team playoff format in which the teams with the four top records after regular season play concludes, will advance to the postseason.
Also on Tuesday, the league announced that all games in 2021 will be streamed live on YouTube, officially ending the league's four year relationship with Pluto TV.
The full 2021 CIF schedule is as follows:
The Indoor Football League (IFL) added their third Arizona franchise this afternoon with the addition of Prescott Valley. The franchise will be owned by Trey Medlock. The team will play out of Findlay Toyota Center, which seats 4,810 for ice hockey so roughly the same for indoor football. The team will form great in-state rivalries with the Arizona Rattlers in Phoenix and the Tucson Sugar Skulls a little farther south. You should expect these duels in the desert to be quite heated. The team will be the sole tenant of the venue by the 2022 season upon departure of the Northern Arizona Suns NBA G-League franchise. The Suns were purchased by the Detroit Pistons and will be moved to Wayne State Arena for the 2021-22 season.
The venue has played host to a team before, the Arizona Adrenaline who were members of the American Indoor Football Association (AIFA) in 2008 before suspending operations. However, suspending operations is the key phrase there as they were one of the few teams in the history of this sport to return to play. In 2011 they were admitted as members of the IFL. During their time in the AIFA they went 11-3 losing a divisional playoff game to the Wyoming Cavalry. As a member of the IFL they went 1-13. The two seasons combined including the one playoff game, the team went 12-18. However, one neat fact about their 2011 season is that they featured the first female to score a point in an IFL game when Nicole Joy did so.
By Anthony Miller
It appears that Albany will be getting an arena football team back in its city for next season. Jaclyn Cangro first reported that the owners of the Orlando Predators are working on a lease agreement with the Times Union Center. The hope is to have an Albany team in the NAL next season.
Cangro also shared a statement saying, "The Times Union Center is in negotiations with the owner of the Orlando Predators, which is interested in owning a second team within the NAL Arena Football League and they hope to start playing in 2021. The deal is not completely done yet and therefore we cannot yet confirm that this will 100% happen. However, we remain optimistic that a deal will get done in the near future and it is out hope to bring back an arena football team back to Albany. Tampa, Louisville, Orlando, Jacksonville, Baltimore, Carolina, West Virginia, Columbus, GA and potentially two additional markets besides Albany will be playing in the NAL in 2021. Many of the players who used to play in the AFL are now playing in the NAL. We hope to be able to host a press event in the coming weeks to confirm and finalize details."
Cangro was also told that Empire and Firebirds are being considered for names of the franchise. Albany last had a team with the Empire for the 2018 and 2019 AFL seasons. They made the playoffs twice and winning the last ArenaBowl last year before the league folded. More information is expected to be released in the next few weeks.
Written by Chris Mabry
As the hiatus of the IFL continues until 2021, the league is continuing to expand the league by adding another team to the league. A few months ago, the IFL revealed that Columbus was coming in 2021. Now due to the pandemic, it's been pushed back to 2022. So before I announce the new name. Here's the setup.
The press conference was held at the Columbus Zoo. A few people got up and talked for a few minutes and then the big moment. Please welcome the Columbus Wild Dogs.
Coined as one of the fearless animals in the African jungle this should be a fierce team. It will be coached by Bobby Holland and will be played at Nationwide Areana. The former home of the Columbus Destroyers who played last year. You can check out the brand new team by going to www.columbuswilddogs.com.
Welcome to the IFL Columbus Wild Dogs. See you in 2022.
By Anthony Miller
The Baltimore Brigade appear to be on the move. HMG Sports Marketing released a statement saying that the team is moving to San Antonio with the assumption that they will play in the IFL. In the process, Baltimore will get an expansion team that will most likely play in the NAL.
“We believe that this is a great move and a great business decision. From a marketing perspective, San Antonio is a military town and the name just fits. The IFL gets a major market out West and we’re excited about that, but we’re equally excited that we’ve ensured that arena football fans in Baltimore will also get a quality franchise in a new league after the shutdown of the AFL,” says Will Hanna, National Director for HMG Sports.
The statement also mentioned that Hanna will have a major stake to the team with their partners Showcase Athletics. HMG Sports purchased the equipment and the assets of the Brigade team back in June. The San Antonio franchise is committed to playing their games in 2021. There are no confirmations on whether the San Antonio team will remain the Brigade, but Hanna stated that more news will come out soon.
San Antonio is no strangers to having arena football in its fair city. Their first team was the San Antonio Force in 1992 lasting only one season in the Arena Football League. The Steers appeared for one season back in 2007 in San Antonio as part of the National Indoor Football League. Their most known arena team is the Talons who played in the Arena Football League from 2011 to 2014.
The city has had a history of being great supports of football who professional teams come in. When the short lived Alliance of American Football was around, the San Antonio Commanders would average around 25,000 fans per game. Even though the new arena team won't hit those numbers, it's safe to say that football will be popular with their residents.
Written by Chris Mabry
Due to the National Arena League cancelling the 2020 season, they are preparing for the 2021 season. Now they have added their second team. First it was the Louisville Xtreme and now it's the Tampa Bay Tornadoes. Below is the official NAL statement:
Tampa Bay joins the following eight teams for the 2021 season and it might grow.
Written by Chris Mabry
This year in indoor football, it was supposed to be the year of indoor football. 27 teams in the top three indoor leagues. Unfortunately due to the Coronavirus, it has impacted both IFL and CIF. Now the NAL.
The National Arena League has posted a statement on their respective social media accounts. Here is the statement:
This will be the first time since 1982 where there will be no indoor football season. We will just have to wait until the 2021 season.
Written By Chris Mabry
When the Albany Empire defeated the Philadelphia Soul in Arena Bowl XXXII no one believed it would be the final Arena Football League game ever. Now, after ten months out of the spotlight the former indoor league is back in the spotlight. Here is what for.
According to Fox Business, the AFL who is bankrupted is planning on selling it's assets. These assets include team equipment, memorabilla, and intellectual property. They will go up for sale later this month as part of the pankruptcy proceedings.
"This auction is a historic opportunity for sports enthusiasts, coaches, and indoor football investors to acquire an extraordinary amount of equipment," said Paul Brown, vice president of GA Global Partners. "From complete indoor football field systems to game uniforms, people will be able to bid on individual lots or together as an entire league."
If you could by something from the league, what would you buy?
Written By Anthony Miller
The IFL is following in the footsteps of many professional sports leagues in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press release, the league announced it would be canceling the remainder of the 2020 season. The league added as the reasoning being too many unknowns with COVID-19 and when sports would be allowed to play again.
IFL Commissioner Todd Tryon responded by stating, "This is a decision we take very seriously, and it comes as a result of extended, thoughtful discussion among our Board of Directors. Because there are so many critical unknowns that are out of our control, we feel as a league we would be best serving the health and stability of the IFL community by taking a proactive approach and focusing our talents and our resources toward preparing for a breakout 2021 season. The health and safety of our players, coaches, staff, and fans is our top concern."
The league also announced that the board of directors approved of extending the 2021 season to 16 games. Their decision behind the move was to add more value to the fans and their sponsors.
The season was able to only produce two total games back on March 7th and 8th. The Quad City Steamwheelers took care of business on the road by beating Cedar Rapids River Kings 54-39. San Diego was the other road team having success on the road as the Strike Force defeated the Bismarck Bucks 50-36.
It was suppose to be a big season for the league as they were adding four teams to the season. The Spokane Shock were being brought back to arena football for the first time since 2017. The Duke City Gladiators was joining the IFL after being in the CIF from 2015 through 2019. Two new franchises joined the league with the Oakland Panthers and the Frisco Fighters.
Tyron wanted to make sure the league was made to protect their staff and players. "The IFL remains committed to the safety and well-being of our players, our team and league staff members, our fans, and our corporate partners. During this extraordinary time in our country, we have all been impacted, and we believe that it will take all of us working together to return to a semblance of normalcy. With that stated, I am extremely proud of how our IFL teams have taken prominent leadership roles within their respective communities to provide assistance and hope to those who need it most. We will continue those efforts as best we can and we will work directly with our local governments and healthcare providers to help in any way we can in the midst of these difficult times."
Despite the season being cut well too short, the expansion of 16 games will bring some excitement to the 2021 season. The league currently has 13 teams, but more additions could be on the way with a new 16 game season happening. With the AFL out of the picture, it appears that 2021 could be the year to see if the IFL becomes the top arena football league around.