SALINA – The Salina Liberty will not take the field in 2020.
According to a media release from the Champions Indoor Football League, of which the Liberty are a member, the CIF board of directors made the decision to cancel the 2020 season Tuesday due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CIF had been exploring ways to play in 2020 and wanted to explore any and all possibilities before formally cancelling this season.
“The CIF board of directors had continuously pushed for a delay to start the season, and even approved several modified versions of a reduced schedule, all the while hoping for positive outcome, but ultimately that never materialized,” said CIF Commissioner Ricky Bertz. “Restrictions that were enforced by local and federal governments due to the pandemic, already were creating challenges for our member teams. As a league, we wanted to exhaust every possibility, before taking the necessary actions that lead to this difficult decision. Ultimately public safety was our greatest priority. Despite the best efforts of the league, along with our arena management partners, to try to play a meaningful season, this unprecedented national emergency unfortunately did not allow us to do so. The CIF member teams have immediately begun the process of reaching out to their fans and sponsors while simultaneously preparing for the 2021 season.”
Officials with the Salina Liberty and Tony’s Pizza Events Center said that although they believe games could have been played in Salina, each community in the league has been impacted by COVID-19 in a different way.
“Tony’s Pizza Events Center, the Salina Liberty owners, office staff, coaches, and players believed we could have played a modified schedule this season,” said Liberty General Manager Francis Flax. “Due to the uncertainty in many of the other venue locations, we understand and support the decision by the league. We want to thank our season ticket holders and sponsors for their patience and understanding during these trying times. We would like to announce the Salina Liberty will return for the 2021 season.”
All fans who purchased tickets, including season ticket holders, will receive a full refund. Those who paid by credit or debit will have their tickets refunded automatically in the next 3 to 5 business days. For those that purchased with cash, refunds will be available beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 10. Cash purchasers must bring their tickets to the box office to receive their refund. The box office is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Liberty staff will contact corporate sponsors privately.
CIF league officials say they will aggressively begin planning for the 2021 season, and upcoming league meetings for member teams, and potential expansion teams, in the coming weeks.