The Indoor Football League (IFL) announced late Tuesday night that the West Michigan Ironmen and Bloomington Edge, formally of Champions Indoor Football (CIF), will be joining the IFL for the 2018.
This brings the IFL’s total number of teams to seven for the 2018 season.
West Michigan Ironmen, Bloomington Edge to join Indoor Football League
“We are thrilled to announce the additions of the Bloomington Edge and the West Michigan Ironmen,” IFL Commissioner Michael Allshouse said in a press release. “It is a pleasure to welcome these fantastic and passionate markets to the IFL. Both of these organizations provide an exciting championship quality product and tremendous partnerships for all members of the League.”
Bloomington finished the 2016 CIF season with a 7-5 record, and a trip to the CIF playoffs.
“We were drawn back to the IFL for many reasons,” Bloomington Owner Omar Khokhar said in the release. “The IFL has several titans of indoor football, including the Iowa Barnstormers and Arizona Rattlers, as well as several top-notch rivals within our geographic footprint. Finally, the IFL has a robust digital platform that offers an attractive platform to our business partners and will help continue to grow our brand. This is a great day for the City of Bloomington.”
West Michigan, on the other hand, finished the year at 4-8.
“The Ironmen are excited to join a league with such a rich history and high level of play,” West Michigan Owner Terrance Williams said in the release. “We look forward to competing with teams that have long histories of success at the highest level of indoor football, while maintaining our established rivalry with the Bloomington Edge.”
The IFL and CIF had been in constant talks prior to this about the leagues merging together to form a large Midwest indoor league, but couldn’t make things work.
Instead, the Sioux Falls Storm and Wichita Falls Nighthawks departed the IFL, leaving the league with five teams: Arizona, Cedar Rapids, Green Bay, Iowa, and Nebraska.
After those two powerhouses left, it looked like the IFL might be stuck in a situation like that of the Arena Football League’s (AFL). The AFL only featured five teams in 2017 and had to limp through the season, seeing each team face each other four times, and sometimes a fifth in the playoffs.
Now at least, with seven franchises, the IFL can say they’re in some better ground than before.
Main photo credit: Eversport.tv