IFL adds third Arizona team, Prescott Valley Aug 25, 2020 15:38:02 GMT -8
Post by DiamondThief on Aug 25, 2020 15:38:02 GMT -8
UPDATED 10/6/20 --
PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ - The IFL's new Indoor Football League team located in Prescott Valley, Arizona will be called the Northern Arizona Wranglers, SCtoC has learned.
PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ - Arizona is known as a hot spot during the summer months. Today, it may have just become the hot spot of the Indoor Football League.
Prescott Valley will be the site of a new IFL team to begin play in 2021. Team officials and the IFL made the announcement today in the north central Arizona city. The announcement came at Findlay Toyota Center, where the team will play its home games.
Prescott Valley is no stranger to the game of indoor football; in fact, this marks the second IFL team for Prescott Valley, and third indoor based team overall. The first team, the Arizona Adrenaline, were founded in 2008 and began as members of the American Indoor Football Association, going 11-3 and reaching the AIFA Playoffs. The team suspended operations in 2009 due to lack of sponsorship funding, but returned as members of the IFL in 2011. During their one season in the IFL, the Adrenaline failed to find success, going 1-13 and finishing last in the Mountain West Division and with the worst record in the then 22-team league.
Although one-and-done in the IFL, the Adrenaline's claim to fame lied within kicker Nicole Joy, the first female to score a point in an IFL game and the fifth female player to ever play in the IFL.
After the Adrenaline folded, a new team called the Arizona Outlaws was established in 2012 as members of the American Indoor Football (AIF) league. Sharing the name of the former USFL team, the Outlaws finished 1-4 and missed the playoffs in what would be their one and only season before folding after the season.
The National Basketball Association's G-League Northern Arizona Suns played in Prescott Valley until the 2019-20 season, but relocated to the metro Phoenix area following the COVID-19 pandemic. That team is the G-League affiliate of the Phoenix Suns.
Prescott Valley's new IFL team will join the league's Arizona Rattlers, which moved over from the Arena Football League prior to the 2017 season, and the Tuscon Sugar Skulls, which finished 7-7 with a playoff berth in their 2019 expansion season.
The team's name, logo, color scheme and uniforms will be unveiled at a later date.
Prescott Valley, just east of Prescott, has a population of 46,515 with a metro area of nearly 219,000 as of 2019. The city is approximately 90 miles north of Phoenix, the state's capital and home of the Rattlers. It is located just over 400 miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico, home of the Duke City Gladiators. Findley Toyota Center opened in 2006. It seats just under 5,000 persons for ice hockey, which is somewhat comparable to indoor football in terms of capacity. The arena was home to the Adrenaline in 2008, the Central Hockey League's Arizona Sundogs from 2006 to 2014, and the Arizona Outlaws of American Indoor Football in 2012.
Every professional sports league suspended their seasons following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. For some leagues, such as the National Basketball Association and National Women’s Soccer League, it was temporary. For others, it was to look to what would be the following season; as was the case with the IFL. The IFL was the first indoor football league to announce it was suspending the season, an announcement which was made on March 13. It officially cancelled the season a month later. The league concluded just two games prior to the cancellation.
Last week, the Massachusetts Pirates announced they were making the jump from the National Arena League; a move which extended the IFL to the east coast for the first time.
However, last week the league slate took a hit as it was announced that the Cedar Rapids River Kings and San Diego Strike Force would go dormant for the 2021 season. While the long-term fate of the River Kings is unknown, the Strike Force are planning a return to the league in 2022. Both of those teams are primarily owned by California businessman Roy Choi, who also owns the expansion Oakland Panthers along with former Super Bowl champion Marshawn Lynch.
Prior to what would have been the 2020 season, the IFL had added expansion teams the Spokane Shock and the Frisco Fighters. Additionally, the Gladiators announced their move to the league from Champions Indoor Football. The Gladiators had won the prior two CIF championships before making the move.
Due to the pandemic, it is possible that IFL teams' arenas may be empty, or have limited numbers of fans during the 2021. Those details will be worked out by the league and its teams leading up to the season, which is expected to start sometime around February or March.
In addition to the Rattlers and Sugar Skulls, the IFL returns the Bismarck Bucks, Green Bay Blizzard, Iowa Barnstormers, Quad City Steamwheelers and Sioux Falls Storm. The expansion Columbus Wild Dogs have joined the league and will begin play in 2022. The Nebraska Danger shut down following the 2019 season in search of new ownership.
The IFL stretches across the country from Spokane, Washington to Worchester, Massachusetts. The league will enter its 12th season in 2021. The addition of Prescott Valley brings the league to 13 teams; up from the 10 which comprised the league in 2019.
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