The merger will go into effect prior to the start of the 2011 season.
Merger Increases League Roster to 16 Teams
The Southern Indoor Football League (SIFL) officially announced that it has absorbed six teams formerly of the American Indoor Football Association (AIFA), bringing its overall roster to 16 franchises for the upcoming season of play. The news was confirmed on Tuesday by SIFL Commissioner Gary Tufford, who publicized the merger from SIFL offices in Daytona Beach, Florida.
“The creation of this alliance is most important to teams that want to play regionally under a business model that more appropriately fits their market,” Tufford stated. “In order to accommodate such markets, we had to build bridges. Regional play within a league structure makes perfect sense at this level. In a time when everyone is looking to be as trim as possible, you have to look for partnerships that make sense. We are truly a regional league playing in divisions that define their territory, yet play under a super regional umbrella footprint.”
While two of the organizations to join the SIFL are from Pennsylvania and a third is located in New Jersey, no plans are expected for change to the league name.
“Now that we have extended our footprint into a ‘super regional’ that includes the Northeast, it is imperative that we not only grow these new teams but also nurture our existing ones,” Tufford continued. “We have a responsibility to the teams, fans and the sport itself to create great rivalries, quality entertainment and affordable budgets.”
Before the merger occurred, the AIFA was split into eastern and western regions, and the AIFA West will play independently of the SIFL. AIFA co-founder Michael Mink will operate the reformed league, while co-founder John Morris will remain on the East Coast with his own franchise, the Harrisburg Stampede. He will additionally work as a consultant for the SIFL.
“We are very excited to partner with the SIFL,” Morris remarked. “Together, we will make each other stronger. This merger will provide for great indoor football all along the East Coast and through the Southeast and Texas.”
For additional information regarding the merger or the SIFL itself, visit www.southernifl.com.