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
By: Jeff Gonos
Professional Indoor Football League
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
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.
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That would make it 6 in the National conf. and 4 in the American conf.
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.
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.