What is Next For the Sioux Falls Storm?
Let's face it. The Indoor Football League is in a tough spot and questions are being asked about the future of the Sioux Falls Storm. What could be next?
The IFL earlier this week released a statement about the 2018 season and said that they have five teams committed to everything that the league entails. One team was missing and that team was the Storm.
So questions immediately popped up. Turns out that the Storm has until the end of August to make a commitment to the IFL. That's fine, but what about right now? It appears that the Storm have four options.
- Commit and stay with the IFL
- Leave the IFL for the Champions Indoor Football League (CIF)
- Leave for the National Arena League (NAL)
- Fold as an organization
Now let's take a look at how likely these options actually are. Folding and entry into the NAL is super unlikely. I can't see Todd Tryon, owner of the Storm, deciding to end it all at this point. The NAL is way out of the region with the Storm with the teams situated on the east coast. So let's just forget about those options.
That leaves the CIF or IFL.
According to the Times Union Record, the Storm have applied to join the CIF. That would reunite the Storm with the Sioux City Bandits and Omaha Beef if they were accepted. The league, however, is different from the IFL in terms of money and structure. The Times Union Record also states that the league salary cap per game is $3,600. These changes wouldn't be that huge of an issue for the Storm office to take on. More-so the issue would be getting accepted into the league.
But they 100% had to apply for the CIF. It's another option and a way to help themselves get into position for 2018. Considering all the issues right now in the IFL, nobody should be shocked that they have put an application in.
What is the status of the IFL? As of now it's five teams. If the Storm jumps in then we're talking a six-team league. That's much different than the 10 teams they had this past season. This is also much different than the 25 teams that the league saw in 2010. Some of those teams moved on to the CIF, while the other teams folded. What's the benefit of staying? Having a home at this point. Otherwise the league's best days are behind it.
The Storm's best move would be to move on to the CIF if they were to be accepted. They could rekindle the rivalries with Sioux City, Omaha, and even Wichita. It would take some concessions by the team but the overall league situation would be much better.
A lot will happen over the next month. Contracts will have to be signed in both a league and at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. If there is something that we all do know...indoor football offseasons are always fluid.