IFL Commissioner Tommy Benizio addresses the Tucson media.
Arizona Team Starts League Expansion into the Southwest
Tucson, Ariz. (Monday, July 5, 2010) – With the 2010 playoffs in full swing, the Indoor Football League (IFL) announced that it will initiate its Southwest expansion with a franchise in Tucson, Arizona. The league is currently playing with 24 teams in 16 states, and additional expansion throughout the country is expected prior to the start of the 2011 season.
“This is a very proud day for me personally and of course for the Indoor Football League as an organization,” IFL Commissioner Tommy Benizio said at a recent press conference for the team. “We feel like we’re in the right place. We feel like it’s the right time.”
Benizio also went on to speak about further expansion efforts for the league.
“We hope this is the first of four to five, maybe even six teams, that will play football in the IFL in the Southwest, hopefully in the 2011 season,” he continued. “We feel comfortable we can get it put together that fast. If not, we have a committed group here that will wait a year if that’s what is necessary.”
The IFL was created in 2008 as a merger of the Intense Football League and United Indoor Football, and it has seen significant success over the past two years under the direction of Benizio. The 2010 season of the IFL, its second since the merger, saw the league grow from 19 clubs to the current 24 which competed this past year. The hope is for Tucson to trigger the growth into the Southwest region of the country, and it is expected that further expansion into the Northeast is imminent.
“One thing we’re going to bring here is no talent will be unseen,” stated Demond Williams, Tucson co-owner and Director of Football Operations. “If you can come out to the workouts and the tryouts and you can impress and wow, you will have the opportunity to make this team.”
Mario Williams, a local Tucson businessman who is the majority owner of the team and will serve as its CEO, feels a major key for the expansion club will be the talent in the front office.
“One thing is we have a terrific staff,” he commented. “(With) our staff (and) the way everything is structured, I see everything going up. All I see is success right now.”
The Tucson franchise is currently running a “Name the Team” contest for fans, and the team name is expected to be announced on Wednesday, August 4th.