Indoor Football League

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This article is about the league founded in 2008. For the first league with the name, see Indoor Football League (1999–2000).
Indoor Football League
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2016 Indoor Football League season
Indoor Football League logo
Sport Indoor football
Founded 2008
Founder Paul Aaron
Dan Blum
Inaugural season 2009
CEO Michael Allshouse
No. of teams 10
Country United States
Most recent
Sioux Falls Storm (6th title)
Most titles Sioux Falls Storm (6)
Official website

The Indoor Football League (IFL) is a professional indoor American football league created in 2008 out of the merger between the Intense Football League and United Indoor Football. For the 2015 season, the league had ten teams. The league is the second highest tier in indoor/arena football behind the Arena Football League (AFL). IFL players earn a maximum of US$250 per game played (before taxes). The season is 16 games long, plus playoffs of two or more rounds.


Formation of the league[edit]

The merger which formed the new IFL was announced the day before the 2008 National Indoor Bowl Championship, a game which pitted the champions of the two leagues against each other. The Sioux Falls Storm (United) defeated the Louisiana Swashbucklers (Intense) 54 to 42.

2009 season[edit]

Of the 17 teams involved in the two previous leagues, 14 carried over to the new organization's 2009 season. An additional 3 teams came over from the CIFL and two expansion teams began their life in the new IFL. In the United Bowl, the Billings Outlaws (Intense Conference) took the league championship by defeating the RiverCity Rage (United Conference) by a score of 71 to 62 in the 2009 United Bowl.

2010 season[edit]

After losing two teams to attrition after the end of the 2009 season, and a third in January 2010, the IFL then added another nine franchises to boost its membership to twenty-five for the 2010 season. Three of the new teams were expansion franchises. Two moved over from the Southern Indoor Football League and Continental Indoor Football League. After playing nine games of the 2010 season the Alaska Wild suspended operations, leaving only twenty-four teams to finish the year. In the United Bowl, the Billings Outlaws (Intense Conference) took the league championship by defeating the Sioux Falls Storm (United Conference) by a score of 43 to 34.

2011 season[edit]

Seven new teams were added to the IFL for the 2011 season. Some of these were new expansion teams, and others moved to the IFL from the AIFA. The IFL also lost nine teams during the offseason, bringing the total number to twenty-two for 2011. In the United Bowl, the Sioux Falls Storm (United Conference) took the league championship by defeating the Tri-Cities Fever (Intense Conference) by a score of 37-10.

2012 season[edit]

For the 2012 season, the IFL switched to a two-conference format with no divisions,[1] due in large part to the loss of all the Texas-based teams (except the Allen Wranglers) to the newly formed Lone Star Football League. The Wranglers brought attention to the league for offering a US$500,000 contract to unemployed wide receiver Terrell Owens to become the team's part-owner and wide receiver. Owens accepted the contract. ESPN3 carried Owens's debut game against the Wichita Wild. The front office of the league saw changes as well, as Commissioner Tommy Benizio resigned.[2] The league appointed assistant commissioner, Robert Loving, as the interim Commissioner.[2]

2013 season[edit]

On October 12, 2012, the Bloomington Edge announced that the team had been sold to the owners of the Bloomington Blaze hockey franchise and would relocate to the new Champions Professional Indoor Football League for the 2013 season.[3] On January 21, 2013, the league announced that the owner of the Cheyenne Warriors died and that the team would not be entering the league this season as planned.

2014 season[edit]

The league added the Minnesota-based Bemidji Axemen to expand to 10 teams but the Chicago Slaughter were sold and changed leagues, returning the IFL to 9 teams for the 2014 season. In February 2014, the league announced that it would return to Montana in 2015 with the new Billings Wolves franchise.[4]

2015 season[edit]

On July 27, 2014, Iowa Barnstormers president Jeff Lamberti hinted at joining the league by telling a local TV station that the franchise will explore "all options" in the off-season of their continuance to play, including leaving the Arena Football League and going to the IFL for 2015.[5] They joined the IFL in August 2014, becoming the fourth active AFL/af2 franchise to leave for the IFL since the Texas Revolution (formerly the Arkansas Twisters), the Tri-Cities Fever and the Green Bay Blizzard. (The Revolution have since left the IFL for Champions Indoor Football.)

2016 season[edit]

This will be the first season the IFL utilizes roster restrictions which call for all teams to carry no more than 7 players with three or more years' experience in Indoor/Arena football.[6] For the second consecutive season, an AFL team was strongly rumored to join the IFL, as Spokane Shock owner Nader Naini said on August 10, 2015 that he was considering all options for the team.[7] On September 1, the Shock officially joined the IFL, becoming the fifth active AFL/af2 franchise to leave for the IFL since the aforementioned Barnstormers, Fever, Blizzard and Revolution.[8] The Shock, however, would have to enter the IFL under a new identity as the Arena League announced on October 12 that they would retain the rights to the Shock logos and name, possibly for future use by another franchise in the state of Washington.[9] The team subsequently held a name-the-team contest, which resulted in their new identity as the Spokane Empire.[10][11]

On September 9, the Minnesota Havok (based in Mankato) were announced as an IFL team.[12] However, on January 29, just four weeks before the 2016 season was to kick off, the Havok were terminated by the league for failing to meet operational standards.[13]

On November 25, the Minnesota Axemen folded due to the team "Not fulfilling their commitments to the league."[14] Commissioner Mike Allshouse called the move a proactive one to prevent the team having to fold mid-season.[15]

2017 season[edit]

On June 30, 2016, the IFL announced that the Tri-Cities Fever franchise would be dormant, but in good standing with the IFL, for the 2017 season.[16]

Project FANchise, a group aiming to create a professional sports team where fans help run the day-to-day operations, will operate the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles in Salt Lake City. A fan vote determined the team's name and logo, and select fans will have access to player personnel decisions and in-game play calling. Project FANchise would also buy the Colorado Crush in October and began operating the team in the same manner.

During the 2016 season, the Billings Wolves' website was hacked and never completely fixed. Since the end of the season, the website has been offline with no announcements made about the future of the team although many staff members have stated the ownership could not find a buyer and the team has since folded. The Wolves were removed from the IFL website in October 2016.

On October 17, 2016, the IFL announced it had added the Arizona Rattlers, previously of the Arena Football League, for the 2017 season.[17] The Rattlers are the third team in three consecutive seasons to leave the AFL for the IFL.



Team Location Arena Capacity Founded Joined
United Conference
Cedar Rapids Titans Cedar Rapids, Iowa U.S. Cellular Center 6,900 2012 2012
Green Bay Blizzard Green Bay, Wisconsin Resch Center 8,600 2003 2010
Iowa Barnstormers Des Moines, Iowa Wells Fargo Arena 15,181 1995 2015
Sioux Falls Storm Sioux Falls, South Dakota Denny Sanford Premier Center 10,678 2000 2009
Wichita Falls Nighthawks Wichita Falls, Texas Kay Yeager Coliseum 7,380 2013 2015
Intense Conference
Colorado Crush Loveland, Colorado Budweiser Events Center 5,289 2007 2009
Nebraska Danger Grand Island, Nebraska Eihusen Arena 6,000 2011 2011
Spokane Empire Spokane, Washington Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena 10,771 2006 2016

2017 expansion[edit]

Team Location Arena Capacity Founded Joining
Arizona Rattlers Phoenix, Arizona Talking Stick Resort Arena 15,505 1992 2017
Salt Lake Screaming Eagles[18] West Valley City, Utah Maverik Center 10,000 2016 2017

Map of Teams[edit]

Current IFL team locations (Intense Conference teams in red; United Conference teams in blue; expansion teams in green)


Left for another league[edit]


Failed expansions[edit]

  • Binghamton – Owner suspended the 2012 season and never returned.[32]
  • CenTex Barracudas – Originally announced as a 2009 IFL member but then was not included in 2009 alignment.
  • Cheyenne Warriors – Owner died shortly before 2013 season began and team suspended IFL operations prior to first season They played a few games in the DIFL, and shutdown entirely in May 2013.[33][34][35]
  • Everett Destroyers – Originally announced as a 2009 IFL member but then was not included in 2009 alignment.
  • Frisco Thunder – Originally announced as 2009 IFL member but then announced they would take season off while Dr Pepper Arena was being renovated and never returned.
  • Minnesota Havok – Announced for 2016 season but were terminated by the league one month prior to the season for failure to reach minimum operational standards.


Salt Lake Screaming Eagles Arizona Rattlers Spokane Empire Wichita Falls Nighthawks Iowa Barnstormers Billings Wolves Minnesota Axemen New Mexico Stars Cedar Rapids Titans Wyoming Cavalry Wenatchee Valley Venom Reading Express Nebraska Danger Lehigh Valley Steelhawks Bricktown Brawlers Arizona Adrenaline Tri-Cities Fever Richmond Revolution La Crosse Spartans Green Bay Blizzard Chicago Slaughter Austin Turfcats Texas Revolution (indoor football) Everett Raptors Amarillo Venom Wichita Wild West Michigan ThunderHawks Sioux Falls Storm Sioux City Bandits San Angelo Stampede Express Saginaw Sting Rochester Raiders RiverCity Rage Omaha Beef West Texas Roughnecks Maryland Maniacs Fairbanks Grizzlies El Paso Generals Corpus Christi Hammerheads Colorado Crush (IFL) Bloomington Edge Billings Outlaws Abilene Ruff Riders Alaska Wild

United Bowl Championship[edit]

The IFL continues to use the "United Bowl" name originally used by United Indoor Football. The UIF used this name before they merged with Intense Football League to form the Indoor Football League. The UIF held United Bowl I, II, III, and IV in 2005 through 2008, with all four being won by the Sioux Falls Storm. Although the name "National Indoor Bowl Championship" was used for the 2008 contest between the UIF and the Intense Football League, the "United Bowl" name continues to be used for the combined league's championship instead.

2009 United Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2009 United Bowl
Seconds before the Outlaws 2009 United Bowl victory

The 2009 United Bowl featured the Intense Conference champs, the Billings Outlaws, against the upset-minded United Conference champs River City Rage. The game became a scoring onslaught at the start of the 1st quarter with each team scoring touchdowns. The Outlaws defense snagged a pick in the 2nd quarter which led to another offensive touchdown and a commanding two score lead by halftime. The Rage fought back though, recovering an onside kick at the beginning of the 3rd quarter and driving the ball the length of the field for a touchdown. That would be the closest the game would get for the Rage. The Outlaws would put up just enough points to keep a comfortable lead throughout the fourth and after recovering an onside kick in the last minute of the game, the Outlaws kneeled the ball and took home the crown with a score of 71-62 in a loud, sold-out Rimrock Auto Arena.

2010 United Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2010 United Bowl

In the 2010 United Bowl, the Billings Outlaws of the Intense Conference took the league championship by defeating the Sioux Falls Storm of the United Conference by a score of 43-34 in front of a sold out crowd in the Billings Sportsplex (a training facility, used by the Outlaws after their arena suffered storm damage during the Fathers Day Tornado).

2011 United Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2011 United Bowl

The 2011 United Bowl was won by the United Conference champion Sioux Falls Storm when they beat the Intense Conference Champion Tri-Cities Fever 37-10 on July 16, 2011.

2012 United Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2012 United Bowl

The 2012 United Bowl was a re-match from 2011 and was once again won by the United Conference champion Sioux Falls Storm when they beat the Intense Conference Champion Tri-Cities Fever 59-32 on July 14, 2012.

2013 United Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2013 United Bowl

The 2013 United Bowl was once again won by the United Conference champion Sioux Falls Storm when they beat the Intense Conference Champion Nebraska Danger 43-40 on June 29, 2013.

2014 United Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2014 United Bowl

The 2014 United Bowl was once again won by the United Conference champion Sioux Falls Storm when they beat the Intense Conference Champion Nebraska Danger 63-46 on June 28, 2014.

2015 United Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2015 United Bowl

For the fifth consecutive year the United Conference champion Storm won the league title with at 62-27 victory over the Intense Conference champion (Nebraska Danger). It was Sioux Falls' 9th title in franchise history.

2016 United Bowl[edit]

For the sixth consecutive year the Untied Conference Champion Storm won the league title with a 55-34 victory over the first year Intense Conference Champion Spokane Empire on July 23, 2016. It is Sioux Falls' 10th title in franchise history.


Year Home Team Away Team Winner Score
2009 Billings Outlaws RiverCity Rage Outlaws 71–62
2010 Billings Outlaws Sioux Falls Storm Outlaws 43–34
2011 Sioux Falls Storm Tri-Cities Fever Storm 37–10
2012 Sioux Falls Storm Tri-Cities Fever Storm 59–32
2013 Sioux Falls Storm Nebraska Danger Storm 43–40
2014 Sioux Falls Storm Nebraska Danger Storm 63–46
2015 Sioux Falls Storm Nebraska Danger Storm 62–27
2016 Sioux Falls Storm Spokane Empire Storm 55–34

Hall of Fame[edit]

The Indoor Football League Hall of Fame was established in 2014. The inaugural 2014 class of inductees included quarterback Terrance Bryant, radio sportscaster Rich Roste and former IFL Commissioner Tommy Benizio. The 2015 class included quarterback Chris Dixon, running back LaRon Council and defensive back/kick returner B.J. Hill.[36] The 2016 class included linebacker Mark Blackburn, defensive back Lionell Singleton and Colorado Ice/Crush owner Tom Wigley.[37]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "IFL Elects Commissioner". KELO-TV. September 18, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  3. ^ Deacon, Joe (October 12, 2012). "Bloomington Edge sold to Blaze owner, changing to new league". Bloomington Pantagraph. Retrieved October 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ Zimmer, Mike (February 19, 2014). "Billings Wolves to bring indoor football back to Billings in 2015". Billings Gazette. Billings, Montana. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ Barnstormers May Leave AFL, Join Different League, John Sears, WHO-TV website, July 27, 2104
  6. ^ New IFL roster regulations coming in 2016, Mike Leischner, KWSN website, June 17, 2105
  7. ^ Shock weighing options for future league affiliation The Spokesman-Review, August 10, 2015
  8. ^ "IFL Announces Addition of Spokane Shock". Indoor Football League. September 1, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2015. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Minnesota Havok Join IFL". Indoor Football League. September 9, 2015. Retrieved September 9, 2015. 
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ IFL Issues Statement on Minnesota Axemen, IFL website, November 25, 2015
  15. ^ [2], by Mike Leischner, KWSN Website, December 3, 2015
  16. ^ "IFL Issues Statement on Tri-Cities Fever". OurSports Central. June 30, 2016. 
  17. ^ "IFL Announces Addition of Arizona Rattlers". IFL. October 17, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Salt Lake City Joins IFL". IFL. April 21, 2016. 
  19. ^ a b LSFL Welcomes West Texas and Amarillo
  20. ^ Board approves return of indoor football
  21. ^ Swashbucklers Leave IFL for new SIFL
  22. ^ Saginaw Sting Named 6th And Final Team For UIFL, 2011 Season Now Set For Kick-Off
  23. ^ Sioux City Bandits will leave IFL
  24. ^ IFL Takes Necessarry Action In Anchorage
  25. ^ Outlaws get forfeit win
  26. ^ a b c d e f 2011 IFL Schedule Announced
  27. ^
  28. ^ Early in the game, SportsQuest is falling behind
  29. ^ Owner shuts down IFL's River City
  30. ^ Tucson Thunderkats suspend operations
  31. ^ Venom to sit out 2012 season
  32. ^
  33. ^ "IFL Announces Revised 2013 Schedule". Indoor Football League. January 21, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  34. ^ Nowlin, Jack (June 1, 2013). "Do Cavs have a future in Casper?". Casper Star-Tribune. Casper, Wyoming. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  35. ^ Riley, Alex (June 1, 2013). "Cheyenne Warriors have ceased operations". Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  36. ^ "HALL OF FAME". Retrieved July 11, 2016. 
  37. ^ "IFL Honors 2016 Hall of Fame Class". June 18, 2016. Retrieved July 11, 2016. 

External links[edit]