Where did these 10 Teams Go?
.As many fans know, the world of arena/indoor football can be an unpredictable carousel of changes. Teams come and go, switching leagues, changing logos, uniforms, venues. Some pop up for a season and fold--while others don't make it through a full season.
With that said, there are some burning questions about a few teams in particular, that I'm dying to learn about.
# 1 - Delaware Bull Sharks
At one time, they had announced on social media that the Delaware Bull Sharks were preparing to play in the AAL for 2021. Covid affected a lot of things, but if their social media is any indication, they have no intention of ever coming back from it. I hope I'm wrong. It would be great to have a professional team out of the colony of Delaware.
# 2 - Music City Fire
This team seemed to be legit after they played the only AAL game of 2020, before everything shut down. The expansion team traveled to Muskegon and shocked the arena world, upsetting the West Michigan Ironmen 47-37! There was excitement in Nashville and abroad for what this team would bring going forward. Then....Covid, then........crickets. They had a few Facebook posts prior to '21 as if they'd play another season in the AAL but didn't play at all. Who knows what became of them?
# 3 - New York Streets
The New York Streets played the 2019 season in the National Arena League. They didn't have ideal conditions, by any means: a shorter field, a crook stealing Carolina Cobra player belongings at halftime. They played in a city where there are too many other options for entertainment, and to say they averaged 500 fans a game would be generous. They managed a 4-12 season, and though owner Corey Galloway intended for the team to be around for a long time, perhaps the expense of operating became a deterrent, and the team vanished.
# 4 - Cedar Rapids River Kings
Cedar Rapids started play in 2012 under the name of "Titans". They had ups-and-downs, and great success at times. In 2018 the team was put up for sale and California-based businessman Roy Choi purchased the team with intentions of keeping them in Cedar Rapids. They rebranded to the River Kings, but lost 14 of their last 15 games. After the covid shutdown killed their momentum and Roy Choi's casinos were closed, his revenue wasn't sufficient to float his 3 teams. It appears that Cedar Rapids was the victim considering his other two teams are California-based like he is. However, no one from the River Kings organization made any kind of an announcement as to what happened.
HOWEVER, the helmets, uniforms, and trademark are out there somewhere. If anyone knows who owns them, please reach out to me. I want to see about buying the assets and trademark and bringing the team back!
# 5 - Fargo Falcons
Throughout 2019 and parts of 2020, there were many social media posts from the Fargo Falcons about possibly joining a league. Their intentions seemed to play an independent schedule to start out in Fargo, building a fan base and brand, and thus have greater value to the leagues. Their last post was November of 2020 when they announced their independent schedule had been cancelled. It had been their second or third schedule they cancelled and perhaps got discouraged with how hard it is to field a team. I await with eager anticipation to hear from them again, but they appear to be dead birds at this point. Y'all tell me it ain't so!!!
# 6 - Jersey Flight
The team appeared to be doing well when they joined the National Arena League for the '21 season. They played well at times, finishing with the same record as Jacksonville Sharks. Well, 2-6 isn't saying much, but were in the playoff hunt in their last game. They had roughly 200 fans a game, if even that. They hadn't agreed to play in NAL for '22 and were soon after announced as a member of the newly-formed Arena Professional Football League (APFL). However, the league threw us fans a screw ball when they released the schedule and the Flight were nowhere to be seen. The Jersey Ballaz were present on the schedule, but after personally calling the Jersey Flight, they've confirmed that the Flight aren't playing and they didn't rebrand. The Ballaz is someone new. But what has become of the Flight and will they ever come back?
# 7 - Louisville Xtreme
Most owners have learned the hard way that you don't make money fielding a professional arena team; you lose it. Those who have grown comfortable with that idea, have found ways to minimize their losses and come back year after year. The Louisville Xtreme came out of nowhere, and were scheduled to play in the AAL in 2020, but Covid. Then, they were going to play in NAL in 2021, but no LOC. They joined the IFL, rented the KFC Yum Center for around 30K a game, and couldn't get enough fans to come make up the difference. As a result, Game 6 on their schedule was postponed before the IFL ended their partnership with them mid-season. Did they lose too much money that they just gave up trying in another league somewhere? Who has heard of them since?
# 8 - Colorado Stampede
Before the start of the 2021 season, a team called the Colorado Stampede started posting on social media that they would play professionally in '22. Some people asked when they'd announce a league and venue. They replied "Keep rounding them up! Announcement coming along with season ticket information!" That was May of 2021. They haven't posted since and those I've talked to are as clueless as I am, as to what their doing.
# 9 - Colorado Team (CIF)
It was announced in '21 that the CIF would have a team from Colorado playing in the league in '22. The team kept fans very involved in letting them vote for the team name. In early September, the Denver Dynamite seemed to have the most votes from what the fans could tell. The team planned to announce the team name at a special event, but the CIF suddenly released their '22 schedule and the Colorado team wasn't listed. One source confirms that the person that was going to fund the team pulled out the funding, making it a pipe dream for them to play. Will this Colorado team ever see the field? One can hope, right!?
# 10 - Ontario Bandits
Scheduled to play in the NAL for 2021, the team was signing players and seemed rich enough to travel to the East Coast for all of their road games. When it came close to the season, things weren't ready to proceed and they went dormant for '21, a week before the season started. The NAL maintained hope that Ontario would get things organized enough to join the league later, but they never made it on the schedule for '22--casting doubt that they ever will. It's puzzling that a team that seems to have the money hasn't made it on the field yet. Whatever happened to them?
While this may seem like a complaint, I mean for it to be a statement of gratitude. Seeing how difficult it is to even field a team, and the subsequent expenses that follow, I'm extremely grateful for the teams that come back year-after-year and give us fans some high-octane smash-mouth Spring football to enjoy. Thank you, especially to the owners that know they'll lose time and money by having their team play for our enjoyment. I only hope they get enjoyment, too!
Written by Ducon Williams
2/18/2022 03:51:43 pm
This was interesting.Thanks. I keep close tabs on the Fargo Falcons. I keep hoping they get up and running and join the IFL. Once in a while I'll check in on the Xtreme. I swear the Ohio team for the IFL almost falls into this group.
2/22/2022 08:31:47 pm
I enjoyed your post. Very good read.
2/26/2022 03:30:17 pm
I love articles about teams that just seem to disappear or never get off the ground. I was wondering about the Amarillo Venom, which played in the CIF and Lone Star Series and was announced for the AFA, but disappeared with some AFA games scheduled to be played in Amarillo.
3/8/2022 02:54:07 pm
The way this late off season has gone maybe you should do a follow up article called "where will all these teams go). Talking about all these teams getting kicked out of their leagues.
6/9/2022 11:09:14 pm
Each team in this regular survey was ordained a territory drew on the places of its home site within one of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 898 metropolitan and micropolitan market ranks. Markets that are residence to an MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL, are not calculated. Attendance was added for the five most recently completed seasons for each league whose daily season finished by Sept. 7 of the current year. No league or sport was loaded more than another. The attendance figures usage came from official team and league reports, made box scores and discussions with service officials. As is the condition at all stages of organized sports, recorded attendance can differ from being a gate count to the number of tickets depleted to the number of tickets allocated. A team had to have completed no less than two full seasons between the past five years to be added. Many soccer and indoor football teams have transformed their names and/or leagues over the years but stayed in the mentioned market.
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