Source: Rattlers Leaving AFL to Join Spokane in IFL - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Source: Rattlers Leaving AFL to Join Spokane in IFL

Source: Rattlers Leaving AFL to Join Spokane in IFL Source: Rattlers Leaving AFL to Join Spokane in IFL
SPOKANE, Wash. -- Faster than you can say Titanic, teams are leaping off the sinking ship of the Arena Football League.  In the wake of Orlando's and Jacksonville's decisions to suspend operations in the AFL, SWX's Sam Adams has learned that a third team now plans to join the mass exodus and hopes to land in the Indoor Football League.  A reliable source has told Adams that the Arizona Rattlers have notified the AFL that they are leaving the league, and the franchise is now in the final phase of the application process to join the Indoor Football League.  Paperwork to join the IFL could be finalized and approved by the end of the business week.
Arizona would be the third AFL franchise in successive years to jump ship to the IFL, joining the Spokane Empire (2015) and Iowa Barnstormers (2014).  It would appear Arizona won't be the last to continue that trend.  The Jacksonville Sharks announced on their website that they are in the final stages of leaving the AFL to join a a rival league, presumably the IFL.  Sharks Operating Manager Jeff Bouchy said in a statement, "Now was the right time to move the Sharks into an exciting new League that will become the premier league in arena/indoor football.  Other teams from the AFL are expected to join us in this new chapter in Sharks' history."  Bouchy would not identify which league his team will join in an interview with the Florida Times-Union but reiterated that "other teams from the AFL are expected to join us."
The Arena Football League fielded just eight teams during the 2016 season, including the Portland Thunder, who came under league control when team owner Terry Emmert was forced out by the AFL in January.  Portland has since folded, as have the L.A. KISS.  That leaves the league with an ever-shrinking roster of viable teams: Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, and the expansion Washington (D.C.) Valor.  Meanwhile, if Arizona joins the Indoor Football League as expected and Jacksonville is approved as a league member, the IFL could suddenly have ten franchises for the upcoming 2017 season, including the Spokane Empire.  The team has struggled to match attendance figures from its AFL days as the Shock, due in part to a perception that the franchise left for an inferior league.  But come 2017, the IFL might just be the premier destination in the indoor game.
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