The Spokane Empire have announced on a recent news post that they'll be ceasing operations...
Spokane will lose arena football for the first time since 2005 when the team was established. The Empire, originally known as the Spokane Shock, played in af2 from 2005 to 2009. The Shock then moved to the AFL in 2010 and played in the league until 2015. On Sept. 1, 2015, the team left the AFL for the IFL. However, the Shock could not carry over their name and had to re-brand. Finally, on December 9, 2015, the Empire name, logo and colors were unveiled.
The Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena was the home of the Shock/Empire from 2005-2017. The 10,771 seat venue always had pretty decent attendance for home games, and that is probably not why the Empire have decided to fold.
The announcement the team made, came as a shock to many fans as they quoted:
"After much deliberation, we have made the decision not to play football for the 2018 season to allow ourselves time to explore our alternatives including identifying potential local partners who would like to join in the effort to continue indoor football in Spokane or an outright sale of the team. We will be refunding all 2018 season ticket deposits to the legion of faithful fans who continue to support the team."
From what it sounds like, Spokane could potentially return in the future, as they mentioned they are "taking off the 2018 season to explore all alternative options". The future is uncertain for arena football in Spokane, and many fans are devastated, as they had a great fan-base. Losing your favorite team is tough, but there's always room to have hope for a new one in the near future.