Wichita Falls leaving Indoor Football League, two franchises join

Wichita Falls head coach Bill Back calls in plays at the Eihusen Arena as the Nighthawks take on the Nebraska Danger, Feb. 25, 2017 (KHGI)

Wichita Falls is the second team in the last several weeks leaving the Indoor Football League (IFL) in favor of the Champions Indoor Football (CIF) league.

The CIF now has the Nighthawks information posted to its web site, while the IFL no longer has anything related to Wichita Falls as a league member - first noticed by KHGI sports on Sept. 12.

Exactly 71 minutes after this tweet went out, the IFL announced the addition of two franchises for the 2018 season in the Bloomington Edge and the West Michigan Ironmen, two teams who were members of the CIF North division in 2017.

The Bloomington Edge re-join the IFL after playing in assorted indoor football leagues during the past five seasons. One of the original members of the IFL, the Bloomington Edge sported a winning record during each season of their original IFL tenure (2009-2012) and advanced to the playoffs during each season. Bloomington will play all of their home games at the Grossinger Motors Arena.

“We were drawn back to the IFL for many reasons,” stated Bloomington Owner Omar Khokhar. “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!”

The West Michigan Ironmen join the IFL as new members for the 2018 season. Based in Muskegon, MI, the Ironmen bring championship caliber football to the IFL as the team advanced to the AIF championship game in the team’s first season of play. The team then joined the Champions Indoor Football in 2017 before joining the IFL in 2018. The Ironmen play all of their home games at L.C. Walker Arena.

"The Ironmen are excited to join a league with such a rich history and high level of play,” said West Michigan Owner Terrance Williams. “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.”

“We are thrilled to announce the additions of the Bloomington Edge and the West Michigan Ironmen," said IFL Commissioner Michael Allshouse. “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.”

The IFL will continue to unveil new announcements regarding the 2018 season as the league prepares for the Annual Board of Directors Meetings in Las Vegas, NV. The two-day event will take place on October 2nd and 3rd.

The Champions Indoor Football will begin its fourth season of play in the spring 2018, and was created in 2014 from a 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. The Nighthawks will compete in the South Division with Bismarck, Sioux City, Omaha, Bloomington, West Michigan, Kansas City, Quad Cities.

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