June 25, 2024

Arena Insider

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Iowa Rampage discontinues 2024 season effective immediately

3 min read

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA — The Iowa Rampage announced it will cancel its 2024 season citing numerous reasons including pay and communication issues.

Owners Trevor Burdett and Mike Taliaferro made the announcement in a letter to fans Thursday afternoon. The Rampage were scheduled to play away against the Southwest Kansas Storm.

This is a developing story and more details will be released as it becomes available.

The letter is below,

To our players, coaches, sponsors, supporters and our fans,

This is a letter I was hoping to never have to write. When the AFL approached myself and the other teams in the CIF, we were unsure at first. There were many concerns and the one at the top of all of our list was the costs associated with being part of a larger league. The travel across the U.S., the player pay increase, as well as any other expenses to bring the AFL back to its glory. However, our group stuck together and we pushed back on the AFL leadership to address those issues. The AFL, lead by Lee Hutton, made promises to us. They agreed to cover travel to games, they were going to give each team three sets of jerseys, our players would get camp gear and warmups, but most importantly, they were going to cover a significant portion of the player pay. After talking it over as a group, the owners decided this was a great option and we moved forward.

Fast forward to the start of camp. After many league owner’s calls, there starts to be cracks in the promises made by leadership. First, the footballs (that each team paid $10,000 to the league for) are delayed. Then jerseys (supposedly from BSN Sports) are stuck in shipping and delayed. Camp gear has never been addressed and the NFL network has backed out due to “unforeseen production issues.” The commissioner, Lee Hutton is unavailable for weekly calls so answers go unanswered. Prior to the first week of games, owners requested an emergency meeting to address issues with player pay and the Philadelphia Soul. Lee once again promises that players will be paid and says money will be delivered to teams by Friday. This never happened.

Lee Hutton and his team have destroyed not only the revival of the AFL, but they have destroyed the hopes of players all over the U.S., coaches who have dedicated time and energy through training camp, the staff of these teams. As owners, we do not take this decision lightly and we wished that this wouldn’t have come, but without the promised support of the league, we have no other option than to discontinue operations immediately.

Ticket holders will be reimbursed by the arena and we will be liquidating our assets to try to rectify and back payments owed.

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