Indoor Football League

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This article is about the indoor American football league founded in 2008. For the original Indoor Football League, 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
Inaugural season 2009
CEO Michael Allshouse
No. of teams 10
Country United States
Most recent champion(s) Sioux Falls Storm (5th title)
Most titles Sioux Falls Storm (5)
Founder Paul Aaron
Dan Blum
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 2011 season the league had 22 teams in 14 different U.S. states. The 2012 season consisted of 16 teams. In 2013 and 2014, nine teams comprised the league. The league is the second highest tier in indoor/arena football behind the Arena Football League, but plays at the former af2 scale. IFL players earn a maximum of $250 per game played (before taxes). The season is 16 games long, plus playoffs of two or more rounds. Altogether, as of the end of the 2014 season, 38 different teams had actually taken the field to compete in at least part of one or more seasons; this does not count teams which were organized and announced but folded prior to playing any actual games.


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 29th, 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 25th, the Minnesota Axemen folded due to the team "Not fufilling 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]



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
Billings Wolves Billings, Montana Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark 7,000 2015 2015
Spokane Empire Spokane, Washington Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena 10,771 2006 2016
Tri-Cities Fever Kennewick, Washington Toyota Center 6,000 2005 2010

Map of Teams[edit]

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


Left for another league[edit]


Failed expansions[edit]

  • Binghamton – Owner suspended the 2012 season, but hoped to begin play in 2013, though they never did.[29]
  • CenTex Barracudas – Originally announced as an IFL member, but not included in 2009 alignment.
  • Cheyenne Warriors – Owner died shortly before 2013 season began; team suspended operations, did not enter league in 2013 as planned, played a few games in the DIFL, and shutdown entirely in May 2013.[30][31][32]
  • Everett Destroyers – Originally announced as an IFL member, but not included in 2009 alignment.
  • Frisco Thunder – Originally announced as 2009 IFL member, then announced they would take season off while Dr Pepper Arena was being renovated—did not return.
  • 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.


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.


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


  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, MT). 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. ^ a b LSFL Welcomes West Texas and Amarillo
  17. ^ Board approves return of indoor football
  18. ^ Swashbucklers Leave IFL for new SIFL
  19. ^ Saginaw Sting Named 6th And Final Team For UIFL, 2011 Season Now Set For Kick-Off
  20. ^ Sioux City Bandits will leave IFL
  21. ^ IFL Takes Necessarry Action In Anchorage
  22. ^ Outlaws get forfeit win
  23. ^ a b c d e f 2011 IFL Schedule Announced
  24. ^
  25. ^ Early in the game, SportsQuest is falling behind
  26. ^ Owner shuts down IFL's River City
  27. ^ Tucson Thunderkats suspend operations
  28. ^ Venom to sit out 2012 season
  29. ^
  30. ^ "IFL Announces Revised 2013 Schedule". Indoor Football League. January 21, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  31. ^ Nowlin, Jack (June 1, 2013). "Do Cavs have a future in Casper?". Casper Star-Tribune (Casper, WY: Lee Enterprises). Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  32. ^ Riley, Alex (June 1, 2013). "Cheyenne Warriors have ceased operations". Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 

External links[edit]