The Richmond Roughriders, who were champions this past season in the APF, will be exploring different league options this off-season.
After just one season, the APF plans to merge with the Can-Am League, with teams near the northeast Canadian/American border. The new league will be called the American Arena League (AAL). The Roughriders were initially listed a charter member of the AAL, but have since been taken off the list. Richmond will is exploring the Arena Football League (AFL), Indoor Football League (IFL), and National Arena League (NAL).
The NAL, which began operations in March of 2017, had 8 teams for their 2017 Inaugural Season. When the league added the Monterrey Steel in Monterrey, Mexico, they became the first American indoor/arena league to house a Mexican team as well as the first in fifteen years to house a team from outside the United States. Moving forward, the NAL will expand to huge cities across the U.S., and also expand to former AFL markets, and new markets. As of now, the NAL has only one confirmed 2018 expansion team, the Jersey Flight. But it was confirmed that a expansion announcement will be coming on the Championship Week.
The Indoor Football League (IFL) is a professional indoor American football league created in 2008 out of the merger between the Intense Football League and United Indoor Football. For the 2015 season, the league had ten teams. The league is the second highest tier in indoor/arena football behind the Arena Football League (AFL). IFL players earn a minimum of US$250 per game played (before taxes). The season is 16 games long, plus playoffs of two or more rounds. The only way the Roughriders would join the IFL is if the league expanded to the East Coast. There has been recent discussions about the league doing so, but as of now they are still in the talking phase, and nothing is set in stone.
Recently, the AAL posted on Facebook a few teams for the 2018 Season. Gregg Fornario, the Richmond owner responded to their actions:
"That is projections, we haven't committed to anyone yet. We will take the offseason to analyze all possible leagues and see what's the best fit for us.
I see 3 semi pro teams on that list, and we definitely wont be part of any of that."
Only time will tell on what type of decision the Roughriders will make, but the NAL is the highest league of choice on their chart according to the owner. Will the team join the NAL and renew former rivalries the Richmond Raiders have, or will they chose another option?