On Wednesday, the Omaha Beef, Topeka Tropics and Sioux City Bandits professional indoor football teams announced they have officially withdrawn from the Champions Indoor Football league, effective immediately.
Omaha Beef team Co-Owner Ricky Bertz described the difficult decision. "As one of the co-founders of the CIF, along with Stephanie Tucker, and the late Darlene Jones, it has been an amazing eight year run," Bertz said. "Being involved with the league, on so many levels, I am very proud of what this league accomplished. However, I believe that in order to continue to grow and elevate our fan experience, brand and business to the levels that the Omaha market deserves, we are left with no choice but to look for an alternative league that aligns with these goals and practices, on and off of the field. We are continuing to grow and elevate our organization, each and every season. At this time, we feel it's in our best interest to find like-minded business owners, such as those in Sioux City and Topeka, that share the same vision. I truly wish the remaining CIF playing partners nothing but the best going forward."
Topeka Tropics co-owners Josh Barr and Chad Logan shared their thoughts on the withdrawal from the CIF. "While we are still new to the indoor football business, and learning the intricacies that come within the industry, seeing the shared goals and directions we each have for the Tropics also align with two franchises that have each been in operation for nearly 25 years confirms that we have partnered with the right people in the industry. The Tropics are laying the necessary foundation for our partners, community and fans to share in the same success and longevity that both the Bandits and Beef have enjoyed. We are excited for the future of the Topeka Tropics".
Don Belson, owner of the Sioux City Bandits added, "My involvement with the Bandits spans more than 20 years. During that time, I have grown an appreciation for how the indoor football business operates, and the positive impact every franchise can have in their community respectively. However, I see a desire for that impact to grow, not only in Sioux City, but for the new and existing communities that we will be calling partners for the 2024 season and beyond. Each of our respective franchises all share a common vision, and it's one that we all collectively are committed to upholding for the 2024 season and beyond. Bandits fans, indoor football fans, just wait until you see what we have coming for all of you".
In addition to the Tropics, Bandits and Beef withdrawing from the CIF and joining a new league, two new expansion franchises, in Colorado and Texas, that have also signed letters of intent, have elected to not join the Champions Indoor Football League. Each franchise looks forward to making an official announcement in the coming days as to which league they will join for the season in 2024.