SALINA – With numerous rumors floating for the past several weeks, Champions Indoor Football Commissioner Ricky Bertz issued a state of the league address late Wednesday evening regarding the status of the league for the 2018 season. The CIF, of course, is home to the Salina Liberty.
The statement read:
“The Champions Indoor Football league is excited and looking forward to another great season while we continue to strive to make a positive impact in all our communities, foster the support of each and every team and community we serve, and build on the momentum we have been working on as we are on the verge of entering our 4th season.
The CIF would like to update our fans, sponsors, and the media about some recent changes. Two teams, the Bloomington Edge and West Michigan Ironmen, have decided to not return to the CIF this year. The CIF worked diligently to try to retain these two members, and these moves come despite the persistent hard work and good faith efforts by the Board of Directors of the CIF, and in spite of legally binding League Affiliation Agreements (LAA) being signed by both team’s owners. These LAAs were signed prior to the league meetings held in Wichita in July, in which both Bloomington and West Michigan participated. These commitments are taken seriously by all member teams as they are the basis and foundation for all playing partners in determining their own business decisions, and the viability of their respective teams, as well as having legal and contractual obligations.
Recently the CIF also made the announcement that both Wichita Falls and Sioux Falls would be joining the CIF. A few weeks after those announcements, Wichita Falls, Sioux Falls, and the CIF received notification from the IFL that they were disputing the legal withdrawal of both franchises from their signed league agreements, and subsequently threatened to sue both teams and the CIF. While both teams and the CIF were confident that they had followed the proper procedures to withdraw, the CIF feels it is in the best interest of all parties to avoid disputes between leagues, and to avoid protracted litigation which creates uncertainty about which teams are playing where. The CIF regrettably was unable to schedule Wichita Falls or Sioux Falls for the 2018 season. These are both wonderful markets for indoor football, with lots of football tradition, and we the league hope that they, their fans, and their sponsors can sustain their momentum in the future which will allow them to succeed amid all this uncertainty.
While there is still much to be done before the 2018 season kicks off, the Champions Indoor Football league is excited for our fourth, and best, season yet! We have 11 strong teams that will be listed on the schedule set to be released in the next few days. We would like to thank our fans, sponsors, players, coaches, and partners for allowing us the opportunity to bring this amazing sport to our local communities and will strive to keep everyone updated of any changes.”
More announcements from the league, including the 2018 season schedule, are expected in the coming days.