Iowa heads to IFL; Talons given 2 week extension

Barnstormers vs Talons 2013  Photo: KENS. (click photo to view original source.)
Barnstormers vs Talons 2013
Photo: KENS. (click photo to view original source.)

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS (August 26th) – While the San Antonio Talons now have 2 extra weeks to find their new owner, one of their biggest rivals is now part of a different football league all together. Today the Iowa Barnstormers announced that they will be leaving the AFL for the IFL after failing to get big name players to come to Des Moines and finishing last in attendance in 2014.

“A lot of it gets to the economics of the league and being able to be a member of a league where the business model works for a city like Des Moines,” Barnstormers owner Jeff Lamberti said. “We love the Arena League, but it’s really becoming a big city league. We want a business model fundamentally that works and allows us to be here for a long time. We think this business model works. We have some experience from our AF2 days, so we know a business model that works versus one that didn’t work. We think this one works very well.”

The Barnstormers started out in the AFL in 1995 and after the 2000 season they left for the AF2; which is the league the Talons called home from 2001-2009 when they were in Tulsa. Both teams jumped to the AFL in 2010 when the league relaunched its operations and after the AF2 shut down. After failing to make the playoffs in 4 straight years, the team fired head coach Mike Hohensee in July and announced that they were considering leaving the AFL. On Wednesday, the team announced that they will be heading for the IFL, after a press conference held in Des Moines this morning. AFL commissioner Jerry B Kurz had this to say in a statement released by the league this afternoon,

“We wish the Iowa Barnstormers all the best in their new endeavor, their organization has been a part of the rich history of Arena Football for years now and will always be thought of fondly by those who love our sport.”

This is a devastating blow to the AFL, which has now lost 6 teams since the end of the 2012 season. The Barnstormers are the team that put the AFL on the map. After all, this is the team Kurt Warner played for before playing in 3 Super Bowls in the NFL (winning Super Bowl XXXIV). This team meant a lot to the league, and with Iowa going to the IFL, the league has lost a key piece to their foundation. With the Barnstormers gone, there is a vacant spot in the American Conference East division, which has the Philadelphia Soul, Pittsburgh Power, and Cleveland Gladiators. There is speculation that the expansion Las Vegas Outlaws could replace the Barnstormers in the east next year, although geographically that does not make any sense. This also means the Talons will lose one of their rivalries. The Talons and Iowa played 6 times starting in 2012. Iowa won the series 4-2, highlighted by Iowas infamous win in May 2013 in San Antonio known as “The Meltdown”. The loss of the Barnstormers is a big blow to the AFL, and it will take a while to recover from.

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TALONS GIVEN TWO WEEK EXTENSION TO FIND OWNER

The San Antonio Talons have more time to get their new owner.

The news comes after a deadline came and went over the weekend. The Talons ownership issue was discussed at the Arena Bowl this weekend.

League executives agreed to give the team up to two more weeks to find new ownership and talks between the league and potential owners are expected to ramp up this week.

The team’s vice president wouldn’t confirm all the potential investors, but the Spurs are in negotiations to buy them, according to News 4 WOAI.

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Chase Risman Arena Insider's All-Arena Writer

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