December 1, 2009

Tri-Cities Fever moves to IFL

Back in September Brandon wrote about how the Spokane Shock were joining the new Arena Football 1 league. Well, at that time Tri-Cities was going to join too. But now they've changed their minds and are going to the Indoor Football League. I found this announcement on the Fever web site.

Fellow Fever Fans,

As you already know Arena Football 1 has had the intentions of there being two tiers within one league. Tier one would be made up of the larger markets, such as Chicago and Spokane, where they have arena’s that can sit 10,000 plus and have the population and infrastructure to support the financial model. Tier two would be made up of markets such as Tri-Cities.

In September it was determined that tier two would be made up of at least 8 teams. Due to a variety of circumstances that number dropped to 7 then just two weeks ago to 6. While competing in a tier with only 6 teams caused me great concern I felt that during the first year we could make it work and have future expansion to look forward to.

This past Monday I was on our regularly scheduled league owner’s conference call where I was shocked to hear that our tier two division had now dropped to 5 teams. This has left the 5 remaining tier two teams with a decision.

Do we make the jump to tier one, do we look to participate in another league or do we fold? All five teams have different markets and have to make a decision that is best for them.
I have spent the last 2 days making arrangements to do what is best for the Tri-Cities. Folding IS NOT an option and the Tri-Cities could not financially support the Tier one model.

It would only be a matter of time before we failed at that level. I have researched other indoor leagues and have chosen (as well as been accepted into) the IFL. The IFL will now have 26 teams across the United States. We will once again be division rivals with the Billings Outlaws.

We will also be in a league with Odessa Roughnecks, who in 2005 with 2 seconds left on the clock we beat in the conference championship ending their 16 – 0 season. Along with Tri-Cities, my former tier two partner Arkansas has moved to the IFL from Arena Football 1.

Once the initial shock of the change wore off I was able to realize that this just may be the best thing that could have happened. It makes sense for Tri-Cities. We can be competitive in a league that is stable with business partners that I can count on such as Billings, Odessa, Corpus Christie.

The big question on everyone’s mind may be “What about Coach O’Hara”? Coach was my first call on Monday. His response to me was that he believes in us and Tri-Cities and if we are playing football he’s going to be here.

We talk several times a day and rest assured he is still our guy.
The IFL was just a day away from announcing their schedule. Because of their accommodations to us they have had to go back to the drawing board.

I anticipate that they will be releasing the revised schedule very soon.
You, our season ticket holders and sponsors, are the first to hear this news from me. As loyal supporters I wanted to tell you personally and I hope that you share my excitement (and relief) for the season that is ahead. I am already looking forward to facing the Outlaws!!!

For those of you that want to check out the new league further please visit their website at Thank you all for the support you have given the Fever. Your loyalty is appreciated by all of the Fever family.

I look forward to sharing more information with you very soon.

Best Regards,

Teri Carr

Personally I find it funny that the Fever compare Spokane to Chicago and call them a "big market." I guess that means we should tip our hats to the Shock fan base that they have put this idea of a large market into other indoor football teams around the nation.

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