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.
Written by Chris Mabry
As we wait for the IFL to get back up and running, the expansion team Frisco Fighters have been making moves to their roster. They added Tanner Marsh to the roster.
Marsh has been a quarterback in professional football for six years playing for three different teams. His playing career started North of the border in the Canadian Football League with the Montreal Alouettes. In 2017, he moved back to the states, Tanner tried his hand at the indoor game signing for the Cleveland Gladiators. Two years ago, he returned to his home state of Texas playing for the Texas Revolution of the Champions Indoor Football.
As a quarterback in the indoor football circuit, he hasn't played all that much but overall, he is an experienced veteran in the game.
According to his bio on the Frisco Fighters website, his favorite NFL team is the Dallas Cowboys and his football idol is former quarterback turned broadcaster Tony Romo. Hopefully we will see Marsh on the field soon.
BY DEREK HARPER
All this downtime with no sports got me thinking about the various leagues and everything that could possibly happen in the future. While this article is an editorial and assumes the right ownership and management is in place, it'd be very neat to see this happen. The AWFC got off to a bit of a rocky start in 2019 and changes have continued to occur since, leaving the league with only three teams having a venue with the outdoor semi-pro team, Tri-City Rage filling in for the now defunct Tri-Cities Fire. This got me thinking...what if the AWFC had the right ownership and was a smaller regionally based league with teams in smaller to midsize markets in Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming? My thought is having a nine team league with new expansion franchises as well as existing teams from the current AWFC. Since it'd be an odd number of teams, one team would have a bye week while the remaining eight each had a game.
The current teams would all remain the same with the Nampa based Idaho Horsemen, Wenatchee Valley Skyhawks, and Yakima Canines. However, the outdoor travel team, Tri-City Rage filling in for the now defunct Tri-Cities Fire would be replaced by a new Tri-Cities franchise that would call Kennewick's Toyota Center home. The venue seats 5,694 for hockey so it'd seat roughly the same for arena football. The venue has a history of indoor football with a total of thirteen seasons having been played there with the Tri-Cities Fever who played in the AF2, the Arena Football League's then minor league which is now defunct, as well as the also defunct National Indoor Football League (NIFL), finally the Indoor Football League (IFL). Then in 2019 the Tri-Cities Fire played a lone season in the current AWFC.
The next expansion franchise would be placed in Kent, Washington at the accesso ShoWare Center. The venue seats 6,500 for hockey games so it'd be roughly the same for arena football. Kent also has a history of arena football at the venue with two seasons of the IFL when the Kent Predators/Seattle Timberwolves called the venue home.
The third expansion franchise would be placed north of Kent in Everett, Washington and Angel of the Winds Arena. The venue seats 8,149 for hockey so it'd be roughly the same for arena football. Like Kent, Everett has a history of arena football with a total of four seasons having been played there before. For three seasons from 2005-2007 it was the Everett Hawks who played in both the NIFL and AF2, two leagues that both don't exist any longer. Then in 2012, the Seattle Timberwolves relocated to Everett where they rebranded as the Everett Raptors and remained in the IFL for one lone season.
The fourth expansion franchise would be in Butte, Montana at the Butte Civic Center. The venue seats 5,100 for hockey so it'd be roughly the same for arena football. The franchise would be the first arena football team to call Butte home and the main tenant for the venue.
The fifth expansion franchise would be placed in Billings, Montana at First Interstate Arena. The venue seats 12,000 people for events so it'd be roughly less than that given what it takes for a hockey/arena football setup. The venue has a history of indoor football with a total of thirteen seasons having been played there before. First, it was the Billings Outlaws from 2000-2010 and then the Billings Wolves from 2015-2016.
The ninth and final expansion franchise would be placed in Casper, Wyoming at the Casper Events Center. The venue seats 8,395 for hockey and football and has hosted a total of fourteen seasons of indoor football in the past. The Wyoming Cavalry called the venue home from 2001-2014 while competing in various leagues including the now defunct NIFL and American Indoor Football Association (AIFA), and most recently the IFL.
The new reimagined AWFC would see a five team Western Conference and a four team Eastern Conference. The Western Conference would consist of all the Washington teams with Everett, Kent, Yakima, Wenatchee Valley, and Tri-Cities while the Eastern Conference would consist of Idaho, Butte, Billings, and Casper.