2015 Season - Where to Expand???

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VinnyTheViper
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Post by VinnyTheViper » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:49 pm

There are currently two PIFL franchises that are for sale, Knoxville, TN and Rome, GA. If Knoxville were to be sold, I would expect that franchise to remain in Knoxville. If the Rome franchise were to be sold, I think the league would like to see that franchise moved to another Georgia location where the arena is more conducive to indoor football than the Rome arena was, three locations come to mind, the Gwinnett Center in the metro Atlanta, the arena in Augusta, or the arena in Macon. I suppose that Albany is also a remote possibility but I would be surprised to see the league go back there, there are better options in Georgia. Not sure whether either of these sales will actually occur. The league started with a list of 19 markets and I believe the list has been whittled down to 8 markets of which these two unsold franchises figure into the list of 8. There are other markets that I believe are in the final potential list, but it is not wise to divulge anything at this point due to the sensitivity of the circumstances, a lot of fluid pieces right now. I believe that the league would like to arrive at 3 franchises from this final list of 8 for a total of 10 teams for the 2015 season.
Last edited by VinnyTheViper on Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Androo402
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Birmingham may be a no go.

Post by Androo402 » Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:33 am

Birmingham is getting an NAFL team (Birmingham Freedom). This is not another indoor team, of which would've been direct competition but it does compete for market awareness and attendance.

If I were a betting man, I wouldn't bet that the PIFL will be in Birmingham in 2015.

http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2014 ... r_pro.html

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Post by VinnyTheViper » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:08 pm

PIFL Eyes Expansion

By: Jeff Gonos
Professional Indoor Football League
Compliance Director

NASHVILLE, TN (September 5th, 2014) - The Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) completed its third successful season in 2014 with its sound regional operating model and is focused on extending that success at it moves into 2015. Over the next 2 weeks the PIFL will announce both the 2015 game schedule and additional teams.

The League has been evaluating prospective ownership groups over the last two months, and has narrowed its potential selections down to a few strategic markets. "We anticipate that 2015 will see the PIFL increase by 1 to 3 teams with at least 2 additional markets lined up for 2016” Director of Compliance Jeff Gonos said. Expansion markets that are in final mix include Augusta (GA), Atlanta (GA), Knoxville (TN) , Little Rock (AR), and Grand Rapids (MI). Additions could also come from other leagues.

The PIFL has a reputation of offering affordable pricing, community engagement and sound business practices to offer a high quality level of sports and family entertainment. It welcomes business partners to that share its focus and philosophy.

For more information on the PIFL please contact Jeff Gonos at [email protected] or log on to http://www.proifl.com

VinnyTheViper
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Post by VinnyTheViper » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:37 pm

"We anticipate that 2015 will see the PIFL increase by 1 to 3 teams with at least 2 additional markets lined up for 2016” Director of Compliance Jeff Gonos said. Expansion markets that are in final mix include Augusta (GA), Atlanta (GA), Knoxville (TN) , Little Rock (AR), and Grand Rapids (MI). Additions could also come from other leagues.

Now that the league has officially commented, I feel a little more able to make some additional comments:

1. Earlier in this thread, I identified 4 of the 5 potential markets that the league has now commented on, there is still the desire by the league to get the Knoxville and Rome franchise status issues resolved.

2. I believe that there 3 markets in existing leagues that are still being considered. I believe that the comment "Additions could also come from other leagues" is important, I think that existing teams will likely figure prominently in the final configuration of teams for 2015. It is easier for a league to take on stable existing franchises than it is to take on startup franchises, generally far less risk with existing franchises.

3. The league still wants an even number of teams for 2015, so based upon the statement of 1 to 3 teams added, I would bet that either one or three teams would be added, resulting in either 8 or 10 teams for 2015. I am expecting 10 teams for 2015.

4. The expansion most likely to happen will be north in my opinion, look at the list of possible markets released by the league, geography will play a part in the final outcome IMO.

5. I aware of one franchise that is interested in 2016, if what I think is going to happen for 2015, then this 2016 market would fit geographically with the potential 2015 additions. When Lehigh Valley (2013), Harrisburg (2014), and Trenton (2014) were added, there was a long term vision that took multiple seasons in order for the full picture to make sense. The league is once again operating on this notion in terms of a sensible but expanding geographic footprint.

6. I think that we are likely looking at one of two scenarios for divisions in 2015. One scenario would be two divisions with five teams in each division. The other possibility is a three division configuration for 2015, four teams in one division and the other two divisions having 3 teams each.

Finally, there are clues out there if you look in the right places, look at league activity, or in some cases, league inactivity to give you an indication of what is potentially going on.
Last edited by VinnyTheViper on Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:33 pm, edited 11 times in total.

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Post by Minor League Man » Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:37 pm

I also heard somewhere that the Louisiana Swashbucklers might end up coming back, in addition to an expansion team in Huntington, West Virginia.
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Androo402
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Post by Androo402 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:08 pm

Looking at the map, if there aren't any teams added in the south it will definitely be top heavy in terms of travel. We've got 3 (Columbus, Huntsville and Nashville) down here. So if there are 3 teams added, hopefully at least one is closer south.

That would make it 6 in the National conf. and 4 in the American conf.

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Post by VinnyTheViper » Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:19 pm

In that scenario, I suppose that there is another possibility, do away with the division/conference structure altogether and just have 8 to 10 teams that play each other. The problem with divisions when you have only 8 teams is that you likely play everybody 3 time in your own division, without divisions, you likely play everybody just twice, or in some cases only once, no divisions probably increases the travel costs but the fan base gets to see more teams rather than the same ones all the time.

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Post by VinnyTheViper » Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:37 pm

http://www.wzzm13.com/videos/news/local ... /15873473/

ABC affiliate WZZM sports story where five cities are identified as potential finalists, Toledo, OH, Grand Rapids, MI, Little Rock, AR, Augusta, GA, and Atlanta, GA. (aired 9/18/2014).

In the league press release earlier in the week, the five finalists were identified as: "Expansion markets that are in final mix include Augusta (GA), Atlanta (GA), Knoxville (TN) , Little Rock (AR), and Grand Rapids (MI). Additions could also come from other leagues."

So four of the same five are appearing in both lists, with Knoxville and Toledo being mentioned only once. This is only the list of potential new markets, there are at least two existing franchises that are also in the mixture.
Last edited by VinnyTheViper on Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Androo402
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Interesting...

Post by Androo402 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:32 pm

Distance of Grand Rapids to PIFL cities:

Columbus = 14 hours
Trenton = 11 hours
Richmond = 11 hours
Huntsville (Alabama) = 10.5 hours
Allentown = 10 hours
Harrisburg = 9 hours
Nashville = 8 hours

If travel for the Swashbucklers (which is 8.5 hours to their nearest would be competitor) was a difficult task, I'd say having Grand Rapids in the league would be tough without good home attendance.

That being said; the last arena team they had in Van Andels averaged 7k fans in 2008. Can't find any stats for the last arena team in DeltaPlex Arena but it's got a seating capacity of 5k.

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Post by VinnyTheViper » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:52 pm

If you only look at Grand Rapids in proximity to the other 7 existing PIFL cities then I agree it does not look real good, but I think that you have to read between the lines on some of this, Toledo was also mentioned in the list, well Toledo is not that far from Grand Rapids, the league is always looking for multiple dance partners when it comes to expansion, fans said back in 2013 when Lehigh Valley came into the league, "what is this team doing, travel costs are going to kill them" and then Trenton and Harrisburg followed the next season and it all made more sense. There is an unnamed market that is supposed to be interested in joining in 2016, maybe that market is in the same geographic footprint where the named markets are. Finally, there are also existing franchises that the league is looking at, maybe some of those fit into the geographic footprint to make all of this seem more plausible. I do know for a fact that the PIFL does have several applications from existing teams, where each of these applications is in the process, that I can not answer, but they are currently in the pipeline. The application process is a multiple step process, if a franchise gets through all of the steps/milestones, then and only then, do they have a green light for admission. Some teams never get past the initial screening and others do. If I had to guess, at least one of these applications is likely to be approved.
Last edited by VinnyTheViper on Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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