|Current season, competition or edition:|
2021 Indoor Football League season
|Claim to fame||America's longest continuously running indoor football league|
|No. of teams||18 (12 current, 6 dormant)|
|Headquarters||Grand Island, Nebraska|
|Sioux Falls Storm (7th title)|
|Most titles||Sioux Falls Storm (7)|
|TV partner(s)|| YouTube |
|Intense Football League & United Indoor Football|
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. It has one of the largest number of currently active teams among indoor football leagues. The league has operated continuously under the same name and corporate structure longer than any other current indoor football league. IFL players earn US$250 per game played.The season is typically 14 games long, plus playoffs of two or more rounds.
The league was formed as a merger between the Intense Football League and United Indoor Football, announced the day before the 2008 National Indoor Bowl Championship, a game which pitted the champions of the two leagues against each other. The Sioux Falls Storm (United) defeated the Louisiana Swashbucklers (Intense) 54–42.
Of the 17 teams involved in the two previous leagues, 14 moved over to the new organization's 2009 season. An additional three teams came over from the CIFL and two expansion teams began their life in the new IFL. In the United Bowl, the Billings Outlaws (Intense Conference) took the league championship by defeating the RiverCity Rage (United Conference) by a score of 71–62.
After losing two teams to attrition after the end of the 2009 season, and a third in January 2010, the IFL then added another nine franchises to boost its membership to 25 for the 2010 season. Three of the new teams were expansion franchises. Two moved over from the Southern Indoor Football League and Continental Indoor Football League. After playing nine games of the 2010 season the Alaska Wild suspended operations, leaving only 24 teams to finish the year. In the United Bowl, the Billings Outlaws (Intense Conference) took the league championship by defeating the Sioux Falls Storm (United Conference) by a score of 43–34.
Seven new teams were added to the IFL for the 2011 season. Some of these were new expansion teams, and others moved to the IFL from the AIFA. The IFL also lost nine teams during the offseason, bringing the total number to 22 for 2011. In the United Bowl, the Sioux Falls Storm (United Conference) took the league championship by defeating the Tri-Cities Fever (Intense Conference) by a score of 37–10.
The league had 16 teams that played the 2012 season. For the 2012 season, the IFL switched to a two-conference format with no divisions,due in large part to the loss of all the Texas-based teams (except the Allen Wranglers) to the newly formed Lone Star Football League. The Wranglers brought attention to the league for offering a $500,000 contract to unemployed wide receiver Terrell Owens to become the team's part-owner and wide receiver. Owens accepted the contract. ESPN3 carried Owens's debut game against the Wichita Wild, but his association with the team and the league proved to be short-lived. The front office of the league saw changes as well, as Commissioner Tommy Benizio resigned. The league appointed assistant commissioner Robert Loving as the interim Commissioner.
On October 12, 2012, the Bloomington Edge announced that the team had been sold to the owners of the Bloomington Blaze hockey franchise and would relocate to the new Champions Professional Indoor Football League for the 2013 season.On January 21, 2013, the league announced that the owner of the Cheyenne Warriors had died and that the team would not be entering the league this season as planned.
The league added the Minnesota-based Bemidji Axemen to expand to 10 teams but the Chicago Slaughter were sold and changed leagues, returning the IFL to nine teams for the 2014 season. In February 2014, the league announced that it would return to Montana in 2015 with the new Billings Wolves franchise.
On July 27, 2014, Iowa Barnstormers president Jeff Lamberti hinted at joining the league by telling a local TV station that the franchise will explore "all options" in the off-season of their continuance to play, including leaving the Arena Football League and going to the IFL for 2015.They joined the IFL in August 2014, becoming the fourth active AFL/af2 franchise to leave for the IFL since the Texas Revolution (formerly the Arkansas Twisters), the Tri-Cities Fever and the Green Bay Blizzard. (The Revolution left the IFL for Champions Indoor Football before ceasing operations in May 2019.)
This was the first season the IFL utilized roster restrictions which call for all teams to carry no more than seven players with three or more years' experience in Indoor/Arena football.For the second consecutive season, an AFL team was strongly rumored to join the IFL, as Spokane Shock owner Nader Naini said on August 10, 2015 that he was considering all options for the team. On September 1, the Shock officially joined the IFL, becoming the fifth active AFL/af2 franchise to leave for the IFL since the aforementioned Barnstormers, Fever, Blizzard and Revolution. The Shock, however, would have to enter the IFL under a new identity as the Arena League announced on October 12 that they would retain the rights to the Shock logos and name, possibly for future use by another franchise in the state of Washington. The team subsequently held a name-the-team contest, which resulted in their new identity as the Spokane Empire.
On September 9, the Minnesota Havok (based in Mankato) were announced as an IFL team.However, on January 29, just four weeks before the 2016 season was to kick off, the Havok were terminated by the league for failing to meet operational standards.
On November 25, the Minnesota Axemen folded due to the team "Not fulfilling their commitments to the league."Commissioner Mike Allshouse called the move a proactive one to prevent the team having to fold mid-season.
On June 30, 2016, the IFL announced that the Tri-Cities Fever franchise would be dormant, but in good standing with the IFL, for the 2017 season.
Project FANchise, a group aiming to create a professional sports team where fans help run the day-to-day operations, announced they would operate a new team, the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles in Salt Lake City. A fan vote determined the team's name and logo, and select fans will have access to player personnel decisions and in-game play calling. Project FANchise also bought the Colorado Crush in October and began operating the team in the same manner.
During the 2016 season, the Billings Wolves' website was hacked, was never completely fixed, and was non-operational for months. Several former staff members claimed that the team had folded after the completion of the season. On October 24, 2016, the Wolves announced they had left the IFL because of state regulations and failing to find new ownership for the team.
On October 17, 2016, the IFL announced it had added the Arizona Rattlers, previously of the Arena Football League, for the 2017 season.The Rattlers were the third team in three consecutive seasons to leave the AFL for the IFL. The league rejected the bid of another former AFL franchise, the Jacksonville Sharks, who are located outside the IFL's regional territory. They subsequently announced their charter membership in an entirely new league, originally to have been called the Arena Development League but actually beginning play under the name National Arena League.
After the 2017 season came to a close, the website for the Colorado Crush was shut down with no formal announcement on the franchise's future. Project FANchise, which also ran the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles, had announced they would start their own league and left the IFL, with both teams going up for sale.No buyers for either team were subsequently found and the teams folded. On July 12, 2017, the Spokane Empire announced that they would be suspending operations effective immediately.
On July 25, 2017, the IFL announced that only the Arizona Rattlers, Cedar Rapids Titans, Green Bay Blizzard, Iowa Barnstormers, and Nebraska Danger had committed to play for 2018.However, expansion clubs and current member clubs had until September 1 to commit to the 2018 season. On August 30, the Sioux Falls Storm announced that they had joined Champions Indoor Football for 2018 after winning six consecutive championships from 2011 to 2016. The Storm was shortly followed by the Wichita Falls Nighthawks.
The IFL then added the Bloomington Edge and West Michigan Ironmen from the CIF on September 12.The CIF apparently then attempted to sue the IFL, Edge, and Ironmen for leaving the CIF after the two teams had already signed league affiliation agreements with the CIF for 2018. The IFL then threatened to sue the CIF, Storm, and Nighthawks in return despite neither former IFL team signing an affiliation agreement with the IFL for 2018. The CIF then retracted their lawsuit with the IFL but also removed the Storm and Nighthawks from their 2018 schedule. After the IFL meetings in October 2017, the Storm returned to the IFL but the Nighthawks had to suspend operations. While the CIF did drop the lawsuit against the IFL, it filed for an injunction against the Edge and Ironmen teams from participating in the IFL for breaking the terms of their signed affiliation agreements. A temporary injunction from participation in the league was granted on January 31, 2018, with the court ruling determining that both teams had been offered bribes from the owner of the Arizona Rattlers to break their contract with the CIF. The schedule was revised in February for the six participating teams stating the Edge and Ironmen were to return in 2019.
During the season, the Cedar Rapids Titans' ownership announced the team was for sale with hopes of selling to new local ownership.In June 2018, it was announced that the Titans had been sold to Roy Choi, a California-based businessman, with the intentions of keeping the team Cedar Rapids but would rebrand the team.
In August 2018, the IFL announced that the expansion Tucson Sugar Skulls, owned by Rattlers' coach Kevin Guy, were joining the league after being rumored to have joined the CIF. On September 7, the IFL announced that the Quad City Steamwheelers would join the league from the CIF.The Cedar Rapids team announced their rebrand as the Cedar Rapids River Kings on September 22. On October 5, the Bismarck Bucks of the CIF announced their move to the IFL. On November 19, the IFL announced another expansion team, the San Diego Strike Force, owned by the new Cedar Rapids owner Roy Choi to bring the league back up to ten teams. The addition of the Sugar Skulls and Strike Force gave the Rattlers geographic rivals, reducing that team's travel expenses in a league otherwise centered in the upper Midwest.
On August 20, 2019, the Duke City Gladiators joined the IFL after winning back-to-back CIF championships.On September 10, the Oakland Panthers, co-owned by former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch, joined the IFL for the 2020 season. On November 1, the league added the Spokane Shock after it was resurrected by former NFL player Sam Adams, with the Spokane team reacquiring the Shock brand following the Empire's folding in 2017. The Bosselman family were looking to sell the Nebraska Danger, but no owner was found before the deadline for participating in the 2020 season. On November 24, 2019, the IFL added a thirteenth team in Frisco, Texas, owned by the Germain family called the Frisco Fighters. The Germain family also purchased the sponsorship rights for the IFL, the management rights of the league's communications and marketing department, as well as a second expansion for the 2021 season in Columbus, Ohio, known as the Columbus Wild Dogs.
Two games into the 2020 season, the league postponed the rest of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 13, 2020, the season was fully cancelled.
On June 26, 2020, the Columbus Wild Dogs announced it would not begin play until 2022.On August 19, 2020, the Massachusetts Pirates, formerly of the National Arena League, were added to the IFL for the 2021 season as the league's first East Coast-based team. On August 25, the league added the Northern Arizona Wranglers in Prescott Valley, Arizona, for the 2021 season, joining the Arizona Rattlers and Tucson Sugar Skulls as the third IFL team to be based in Arizona for 2021. On November 6, the Louisville Xtreme of Louisville, Kentucky, was added. The 2020 expansion Oakland Panthers, as well as the Cedar Rapids River Kings, Quad City Steamwheelers, and the San Diego Strike Force withdrew from the season due to the effects of the pandemic. On May 11, 2021, the IFL announced that Bill Foley and the Vegas Golden Knights had purchased a 2022 expansion franchise the be based in the Las Vegas Valley. On the same day, the IFL announced as broadcast partnership with Stadium to air the IFL Game of the Week beginning May 15, 2021.
|Arizona Rattlers||Phoenix, Arizona||Phoenix Suns Arena||18,422||1992||2017||Kevin Guy|
|Bismarck Bucks||Bismarck, North Dakota||Bismarck Event Center||10,100||2017||2019||Rod Miller|
|Duke City Gladiators||Albuquerque, New Mexico||Tingley Coliseum||9,286||2015||2020||Martino Theus|
|Frisco Fighters||Frisco, Texas||Comerica Center||3,500||2019||2020||Clint Dolezel|
|Green Bay Blizzard||Green Bay, Wisconsin||Resch Center||8,600||2003||2010||Corey Roberson|
|Iowa Barnstormers||Des Moines, Iowa||Wells Fargo Arena||15,181||1995||2015||Les Moss|
|Louisville Xtreme||Louisville, Kentucky||KFC Yum! Center||22,090||2012||2021||Mark Stoute|
|Massachusetts Pirates||Worcester, Massachusetts||DCU Center||12,339||2017||2021||Patrick Pass|
|Northern Arizona Wranglers||Prescott Valley, Arizona||Findlay Toyota Center||6,000||2020||2021||Dominic Bramante|
|Sioux Falls Storm||Sioux Falls, South Dakota||Denny Sanford Premier Center||10,678||2000||2009||Kurtiss Riggs|
|Spokane Shock||Spokane, Washington||Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena||10,771||2006||2020||Billy Back|
|Tucson Sugar Skulls||Tucson, Arizona||Tucson Convention Center||8,962||2018||2019||Dixie Wooten|
|Cedar Rapids River Kings||Cedar Rapids, Iowa||U.S. Cellular Center||5,700||2011||2012||2022||Victor Mann|
|Columbus Wild Dogs||Columbus, Ohio||Nationwide Arena||18,500||2019||2022||Bobby Olive|
|Las Vegas||Henderson, Nevada||Dollar Loan Center||6,019||2021||2022|
|Oakland Panthers||Oakland, California||Oakland Arena||19,596||2019||2020||2022||Kurt Bryan|
|Quad City Steamwheelers||Moline, Illinois||TaxSlayer Center||9,200||2017||2019||2022||Cory Ross|
|San Diego Strike Force||San Diego, California||Pechanga Arena||12,000||2018||2019||2022||Burt Grossman|
The United Bowl is the IFL's championship game. It has been played every year since 2009. The current United Bowl Champions are the Sioux Falls Storm, who won the United Bowl championship in 2019. The Sioux Falls Storm won six straight United Bowls from 2011 to 2016.
The IFL continues to use the "United Bowl" name originally used by United Indoor Football. The UIF used this name before they merged with Intense Football League to form the Indoor Football League. The UIF held United Bowl I, II, III, and IV in 2005 through 2008, with all four being won by the Sioux Falls Storm. Although the name "National Indoor Bowl Championship" was used for the 2008 contest between the UIF and the Intense Football League, the "United Bowl" name continues to be used for the combined league's championship instead.
On May 11th, 2021, the IFL announced a national television partnership with Stadium, in which Stadium will air the IFL Game of The Week nationally each week for the rest of the season. The deal was negotiated by The Team Management, LLC, and each game will be produced exclusively by BEK Communications.
All other games will still be streamed through YouTube. Some teams also have individual contracts with local or regional TV and radio channels.
|Team||TV Station(s)||Radio Station(s)|
|Arizona Rattlers||LATV||KQFN The Fanatic|
|Bismarck Bucks||BEK Sports||None|
|Duke City Gladiators||None||None|
|Frisco Fighters||None||KDBT 1160AM and KHYI 95.3 The Range|
|Green Bay Blizzard||None||None|
|Iowa Barnstormers||MC22||Newsradio 1040 WHO|
|Louisville Xtreme||WBKI (TV) and WDRB||None|
|Massachusetts Pirates||NESN, NESN Plus, and Eleven Sports||None|
|Northern Arizona Wranglers||None||None|
|Sioux Falls Storm||None||KWSN Sports Radio 1230 AM|
|Spokane Shock||KSKN CW22||KFOO Alt 96.1 FM|
|Tucson Sugar Skulls||The CW Tucson||Fox Sports 1459 AM|
The Indoor Football League Hall of Fame was established in 2014. The inaugural 2014 class of inductees included quarterback Terrance Bryant, radio sportscaster Rich Roste and former IFL Commissioner Tommy Benizio. The 2015 class included quarterback Chris Dixon, running back LaRon Council and defensive back/kick returner B.J. Hill. The 2016 class included linebacker Mark Blackburn, defensive back Lionell Singleton and Colorado Ice/Crush owner Tom Wigley. The 2017 class included wide receiver James Terry, head coach Robert Fuller and defensive lineman Cory Johnsen.
The Arizona Rattlers are a professional indoor American football team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are currently members of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The Rattlers were founded in 1992 as an expansion team in the Arena Football League and were the third oldest active franchise in the AFL until their departure in 2016. They play their home games at Phoenix Suns Arena in downtown Phoenix, but have occasionally played at Gila River Arena in neighboring Glendale when their primary home has been unavailable. The Rattlers are led by head coach Kevin Guy. Since the team's establishment in 1992, the Rattlers have won ten division titles and have played in nine ArenaBowl Championship games, winning championships in 1994, 1997, 2012, 2013, 2014. The Rattlers also won the 2017 United Bowl in their first season in the IFL.
The Tri-Cities Fever were a professional indoor football franchise based in Kennewick, Washington. The Fever joined National Indoor Football League (NIFL) in 2005 as an expansion team. The Fever were owned by Teri Carr. From 2005 to 2016, the Fever played their home games at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, Washington. On June 30, 2016, the team announced it would go dormant for the 2017 season and beyond.
The Sioux City Bandits are a professional indoor football team based in Sioux City, Iowa, and compete as a member of Champions Indoor Football (CIF). The team was founded in 1999 as the Sioux City Attack. In 2001, the team assumed their current name of the Bandits. The Bandits joined the CIF as result of the merger in 2014. The Bandits play their home games at the Tyson Events Center.
The Sioux Falls Storm are a professional indoor football team based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Storm joined the original Indoor Football League as an expansion team in 1999 as the Sioux Falls Cobras, and first took the field for the 2000 season. They currently participate in another iteration of the Indoor Football League; prior to that, the Storm were in United Indoor Football (UIF), where they won all four of the league's championship games. In the newer IFL, the Storm have won seven of the eleven championships in the league as of 2019.
The Spokane Shock are a professional indoor American football team based in Spokane, Washington, playing their home games at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. The team was initially a member of arenafootball2 (af2), the Shock won division titles in all four seasons and ArenaCups in 2006 and 2009 before they joined the Arena Football League (AFL) in its 2010 relaunch. The team advanced to the playoffs three times after joining the AFL, winning ArenaBowl XXIII in their first season, making them the only arena football franchise to win both the ArenaCup and the ArenaBowl.
The Bloomington Edge was a professional indoor football team based in Bloomington, Illinois. While it was in operation, the team hosted home games at Grossinger Motors Arena. Originally named the Bloomington Extreme, the team was a member of United Indoor Football (UIF), and joined the Indoor Football League (IFL) in 2009 during the UIF and Intense Football League merger. They left the IFL for the Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL) in 2013, and in 2015 the CPIFL merged with the Lone Star Football League (LSFL) to create Champions Indoor Football (CIF), where Bloomington did not follow and joined X-League Indoor Football (X-League). Following the 2015 season the Edge joined the CIF. The Edge then announced it had rejoined the IFL for the 2018 season, but a court ruling prevented the team from joining the league until 2019, however, they were not included in that season's schedule.
The Cedar Rapids River Kings are a professional indoor football team based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The River Kings joined the Indoor Football League (IFL) as an expansion team in 2011 as the Cedar Rapids Titans and first took the field for the 2012 season.
The 2013 Sioux Falls Storm season was the team's fourteenth season as a professional indoor football franchise and fifth in the Indoor Football League (IFL). One of just nine teams competing in the IFL for the 2013 season, the Sioux Falls Storm were members of the United Conference.
The 2014 Green Bay Blizzard season was the team's twelfth season as a professional indoor football franchise and fifth in the Indoor Football League (IFL). One of nine teams competing in the IFL for the 2014 season, the Green Bay Blizzard were members of the United Conference. The team played their home games at the Resch Center in the Green Bay suburb of Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin.
Champions Indoor Football (CIF) is a professional indoor American football league created in 2014 out of the merger between the Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL) and Lone Star Football League (LSFL), plus one team from the Indoor Football League and two expansion teams. Players are paid $75 – $300 per game before taxes with no other benefits.
The Wichita Falls Nighthawks were a professional indoor American football team. They were based in Wichita Falls, Texas. The team was headquartered in Wichita Falls and played its home games at Kay Yeager Coliseum. The Nighthawks first joined the Indoor Football League as an expansion team in 2015. The Nighthawks were announced as a member of Champions Indoor Football (CIF) for 2018, however, due to litigation, the team ceased operations for the season.
The 2016 Sioux Falls Storm season was the team's seventeenth season as a professional indoor football franchise and eighth in the Indoor Football League (IFL). One of ten teams that competed in the IFL for the 2016 season, the Storm were members of the United Conference.
The United Bowl is the Indoor Football League's championship game. It has been played every year since 2009. The current United Bowl Champions are the Sioux Falls Storm who won their seventh United Bowl. The Storm won six straight United Bowls from 2011 to 2016.
The West Michigan Ironmen are a professional indoor football team based in Muskegon, Michigan, the Ironmen play their home games at Mercy Health Arena. The team joined American Indoor Football (AIF) in 2016. The AIF ceased operations following the 2016 season, leaving the Ironmen without a league. They joined Champions Indoor Football for the 2017 season. For the 2018 season, the team was originally announced to have joined the Indoor Football League, however, the team was forced to sit out the 2018 Indoor Football League season. The team was then sold and played in the regional Midwest Professional Indoor Football for the 2018 season until they could rejoin the CIF in 2019. However, they were not among the list of members for the 2019 CIF season and instead joined the American Arena League.
The 2018 Indoor Football League season was the tenth season of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The league played with six teams, after the suspension of operations of three teams, the departure of another two teams, and the addition and subsequent suspension of two teams.
The 2019 Indoor Football League season was the eleventh of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The league played this season with ten teams, up from six the previous season, by adding two expansion teams and two teams from Champions Indoor Football.
The 2018 Champions Indoor Football season was the fourth season of the CIF. The regular season began on March 3, when the Wichita Force traveled to Salina Liberty, losing 17–15. The regular season concluded on June 10. This was the second season in which four teams per conference advanced to the Champions Bowl playoffs, with the top seed in each conference hosting their conference's fourth seed, and second seeds hosting third seeds in the first round.
The Tucson Sugar Skulls are a professional indoor American football team based in Tucson, Arizona. They are members of the Indoor Football League (IFL) since the 2019 season as an expansion team. They play home games at Tucson Convention Center's Tucson Arena. The team are led by owners Cathy Guy, wife of Arizona Rattlers' head coach Kevin Guy, and Ali Farhang. Their head is former IFL player Dixie Wooten.
The 2020 Indoor Football League season was the twelfth season of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The league was set to play the season with thirteen teams, up from ten the previous season, by adding three expansion teams, one team from Champions Indoor Football, and one team folding.
The 2021 Indoor Football League season is the thirteenth season of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The league is playing the season with twelve teams, down from thirteen the previous season, by adding one expansion team, one team from the National Arena League, one team from the American Arena League, and four teams going on hiatus. In addition, three existing teams make their IFL on-field debut after the 2020 season was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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