Arenafootball2 acquires IFL

Friday, October 20th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CHICAGO (AP) _ Arenafootball2, the minor league system of the Arena Football League, acquired the Indoor Football League on Friday, and could have as many as 36 teams next season.

Mary Ellen Garling, executive director of af2, said taking over the IFL gives her league another 19 cities to consider for expansion.

``This is a momentous day for arenafootball2,'' Garling said. ``The acquisition of the IFL gives arenafootball2 the ability to grow and generate a new fan base that has never been exposed to the game of Arena Football, while continuing our expansion goal of reducing travel expenses and creating natural geographical rivalries.''

Arenafootball2 plays in small and medium-sized markets that normally would not have a professional sports team in the community.

The af2 just completed its inaugural season with 15 teams primarily located in the Southeast. More than 800,000 fans attended games as the league drew more than 70 percent of capacity.

All 15 teams from last season will return in 2001, along with expansion teams in Fort Myers, Fla; Lafayette and Bossier City, La; Memphis, Tenn.; Macon, Ga.; and Louisville, Ky.

The IFL markets that Arenafootball2 will be considering for expansion are: Billings, Mont.; Madison, Green Bay and LaCrosse, Wis.; Fargo and Bismarck, N.D.; Peoria, Ill.; Casper, Wyo.; Sioux Falls and Black Hills/Rapid City, S.D.; Wheeling, W.Va.; Wichita, Kan.; Erie and Johnstown, Pa.; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; Flint, Mich.; and Duluth and Mankato, Minn.