Post by DiamondThief on Sept 7, 2018 10:28:41 GMT -8
The 2019 Indoor Football League's off season growth has another feather in its cap.
The league announced today that the Quad City Steamwheelers have officially made the leap from the IFL from its previous league, Champions Indoor Football, and will begin play in the 2019 season.
Quad City will enter its second indoor football season, having spent its first in the CIF. The franchise was founded in 2017 and makes its home in Moline, Illinois. These Steamwheelers are not affiliated with the previous incarnation of Steamwheelers, which competed in af2 from 2000 to 2009. The Steamwheelers mark the return of an Illinois based team since the Chicago Slaughter last played in 2013, and at the present, are the only IFL team based in the Land of Lincoln.
Unlike the planned additions of Bloomington Edge and West Michigan Ironmen which were thwarted legally by those teams' binding League Affiliation Agreements with the CIF, the Steamwheelers are able to make make the move since their LAA with the CIF has expired. There have been rumors of other teams in the same situation which would be eligible to jump leagues.
In a statement released by the IFL today, Doug Bland, who owns the team with his wife, Crystal, said he was excited to expose Quad City fans to the talent level of the upcoming IFL opponents.
"We are thrilled to be a part of the IFL. The Quad City fans will now get to see old rivals like the Iowa Barnstormers and the Green Bay Blizzard, as well as teams that have been around for 25-plus years like the Arizona Rattlers."
The Steamwheelers are the second addition to the IFL during this off season. The league announced on August 25 that a new expansion team would begin play in Tucson, Arizona next season. The Tucson team, whose name is yet to be determined, is co-owned by Arizona Rattlers head coach Kevin Guy, who will continue to coach the Rattlers.
SCtoC has learned that there are at least one other existing team from another league which is a near lock to join the IFL for next season, and possibly as many as three others. While rumors abound during the off season of every indoor league regarding team movements and additions, this site has decided not to include the specifics of those rumors in its official reports.
The Steamwheelers play their home games at TaxSlayer Center in Moline. The arena has a base capacity of 12,000 persons, but perhaps a bit fewer than that in order to accommodate an indoor football field. Quad Cities is an are which comprises Moline, East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois, as well as Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa. Geographically, the region is located in Southaestern Iowa and Northwestern Illinois and has a estimated population of nearly 384,000 people, as of 2013.
The Steamwheelers had a successful return to the world of arena/indoor in 2018 after a nine year absence from the previous incarnation of the Steamwheelers, posting an 8-4 record and clinching a playoff berth.
In addition to a successful return to the Quad Cities, the Steamwheelers were honored in 2018 as having the CIF "Fan Base of the Year."
IFL commissioner Mike Allshouse welcomed the Blands and the Steamwheelers to the IFL with the following statement in the league's press release: "The IFL and the other IFL owners saw what Doug and Crystal Bland did with the QC franchise in 2018 and knew that they were people we wanted to have part of our league."
All six teams which comprised the IFL in 2018 are returning to the league next seaton; the Rattlers, Danger, Cedar Rapids Titans, Green Bay Blizzard, Iowa Barnstormers, and Sioux Falls Storm. The league is entering its 11th season. The Iowa Barnstormers won the 2018 United Bowl, 42-38, over the Sioux Falls Storm. The Titans are expected to have a new look, as they are undergoing a re-branding under new owners Roy Choi and Matt Stone, and general manager Ryan Eucker.
The Indoor Football League was founded in 2008, and has just concluded its 10th season in 2018.