The perfect storm of off-season moves has got the IFL holding on by a thread.
A year ago, I wrote about the IFL being the most stable league in indoor football.
Now, the league is in some one of the biggest binds it has gone through since its inception in 2009.
The Indoor Football League is holding on by a thread
Midway through the 2017 season, the Wall Street Journal published an article saying FANchise, the owners of the IFL’s Salt Lake Screaming Eagles and Colorado Crush, will be leaving the IFL to form a different, fan-interactive league. The move left both teams without owners.
Two weeks ago, the owner of the Wichita Falls Nighthawks spoke on television and said that the Nighthawks are exploring a move to Champions Indoor Football (CIF) that makes more sense than not.
Not to mention that Nebraska and Green Bay have also been riddled with rumors of a move to the CIF, although they don’t make as much sense, but we’ll get to that later.
Finally, last Wednesday night, the Spokane Empire announced that they would be ceasing operations for the 2018 season.
To sum it up the IFL had 10 teams during the 2017 season and could be left with only four for next year.
Where will the they go from here?
For starters, the big wigs up top should be trying to offer everything they can, no matter what the case, to keep its current teams in the league.
Nebraska wants two of its eight road games to be against Iowa? OK.
Wichita Falls wants to see some expansion near them? Please, oh please, do that.
Green Bay wants a lifetime supply of puppy chow delivered to their offices tomorrow? You got it.
The point is, the IFL cannot afford to lose these teams. Whether they are the most solid franchises in the league or not, the number of teams in the league says a lot about a league.
When that number has fallen below eight in the past for some indoor leagues, the respective leagues have seen popularity hits. Which is why expansion is always a top off-season topic.
The IFL has done a stellar job over the past few years of making sure that the teams that it adds into the league are quality organizations.
That of course comes with a few exceptions – which is what needs to happen in the near future.
Since Wichita Falls joined the IFL three seasons ago, the league has failed to put a team in a state that borders Texas, let alone Texas itself. In the CIF, Wichita Falls would be placed next to four other teams in the state of Texas.
The IFL should be making a push to fix that issue. Whether they have to poach away a CIF team or find a new expansion destination, figure out a way to get at least one team closer to them.
Show the Nighthawks that you are trying.
Because as one animal, in this case team, leaves the farm, then the herd will follow.
However, if the league can keep the team count at eight or even seven teams, it will be considered a success after this perfect storm that has struck the 2017 off-season.