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North Dakota, Iowa, and Washington have been mentioned as possible sites for an IFL team. Some of those could be expansion teams, or they could be existing franchises moving from the CPIFL or even the major market Arena Football League.
But while the Storm prepare for a transition that could boost them on and off the field, they enter every offseason as concerned with the state of their league as the health of themselves.
"That's why we hired Jim Loria," Tryon said of the former Stampede executive whom the Storm hired this summer to serve as director of corporate sales. "We've never had someone before who was solely responsible for selling group tickets. He got here midseason and right off the bat was selling a ton for us. We have more than six months to build up to the home opener and we're excited to take what we think is the best home atmosphere in our league to a whole new level."
Riggs admits it may be a challenge to create a new home field advantage.
Still, Riggs is clearly on board with the move, and Tryon says the front office is already off to a head start on increasing the fan base and selling more tickets so the Premier Center is as full as possible. Capacity for Storm games at the Arena was 4,700, but will be 6,700 (with options for more) at the new building.
The Storm James Terry (9) celebrates with teammates after Saucony Grid Sd Public Garden
a two year extension early this year that will keep him as Storm coach through at least 2016, also sounded enthusiastic about the IFL's future.
As recently as 2010, the IFL had 25 member franchises. This year they played with nine teams. That isn't as alarming as it sounds the league is much better off going small than large. The NIFL era taught us that.
Storm coach Kurtiss Riggs didn't name any specifics, either, but Riggs, who signed Reebok Furylite White
The Storm closed the book on their Arena era as they wanted to, defeating the Nebraska Danger in Saturday's United Bowl to capture their fourth straight IFL title and eighth indoor football championship in the last 10 years. Now the franchise looks forward to its move to the Denny Sanford Premier Center.
Owners from all 10 current franchises were in Sioux Falls for the United Bowl for league meetings, and Storm owner Todd Tryon made it sound as though those meetings were very positive in nature. He said there were representatives from potential expansion franchises at the meetings as well, but wouldn't specify where they were Reebok Gum Sole Womens
defeating the Nebraska Danger 63 to 46 during the IFL United Bowl on Saturdayat the Arena in Sioux Falls.(Photo: Joe Ahlquist / Argus Leader)
"I'd say we've got about six inquiries that may or may not happen," Tryon said. "They could all pan out, or none of them could. But right now I feel really confident that we'll be at least up to a 12 team league."
"I know some teams that are for sure coming in," Riggs said. "I think people will be impressed with the direction the league is going."
When asked if the new building could impact playcalling schemes and/or recruiting, Riggs said: "It'll affect both. It's going to be a more wide open game, probably more high scoring. There won't be as many defensive battles, and we'll have to adjust accordingly."
"I'm apprehensive," he Reebok Crossfit Shoes Red said peering down at the empty turf from the Arena press box about an hour after the United Bowl had ended. "It's a little scary to think that with a bigger place there could be some more empty seats. You don't know how that will affect the environment and our fans."
As we've seen based on the high rate of turnover in all of the various leagues the Storm have played in, 12 16 teams is probably an ideal number. The league's current footprint is an upside down triangle that extends from Washington in the west to Green Bay in the east down to northern Texas. Tryon says the league doesn't want to expand outside of that already wide reach, but adds that the quality of play, stability of the league and cooperation among franchises improved significantly when the IFL slimmed down from 25 teams to single digits.
As for the Storm, they're now faced with the reality of leaving behind the building in which they won 90 percent of their games, including their final 42.
And while no one would confirm anything, there are strong indications that the IFL could add a handful of teams via expansion or league migration.
The Billings Wolves will begin play next year, and they figure to be a strong addition based on the success the Billings Outlaws had, before the devastation of their Arena from a tornado forced them to fold.
Storm focus on the future
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