Pro arena football team coming to Dodge
By The Telegram
Professional football will arrive in southwest Kansas in February of 2014.
The announcement of a future Champions Professional Indoor Football League franchise, with a yet to be named mascot, was made Thursday morning at United Wireless Arena, which will serve as the home arena for the new franchise.
The schedule for the 2014 season, which includes 12 games (6 home, 6 away) will likely be announced in mid-October.
Teams in the league include Bloomington, Ill. (Edge); Kansas City, Mo. (Renegades); Topeka (Kansas Koyotes); Lincoln, Neb. (Haymakers); Sedalia, Mo. (Mid-Missouri Outlaws); Tulsa, Okla. (Oklahoma Defenders); Omaha, Neb. (Beef); Salina (Bombers), Sioux City, Iowa, (Bandits) and Wichita (Wild).
The CPIFL will be starting its second season and is one of many indoor arena professional football leagues around the country.
Sean Ponder was introduced as the new head coach for the Dodge City organization. Ponder, a 16-year coaching veteran, has nine years of head coaching background. He was a former quarterback at Emporia State University where he earned NCAA Division II All-America honors. He also played professionally for two seasons. During his professional coaching career, Ponder has sent 35 playes to the AFL, NFL and CFL and his teams have made eight playoff appearances while earning four division championships.
The general manager and owner of the team is Ricky Bertz. He had been the previous owner and general manager of the Fairbanks (Alaska) Grizzlies of the Indoor Football League (IFL).
In the team's press release Wednesday, Bertz said that he expects the franchise to bring affordable, fast-spaced and exciting entertainment to Dodge City and the surrounding area. All games will be played at United Wireless Arena.
Bertz said he plans to have his team's players involved in the community and indicated the franchise will represent the morals, characteristics and qualities of Dodge City and southwest Kansas.
Fans will have an opportunity in the naming of the new franchise and can go to the organization's website at www.dogecityfootball.com and fill out the name-the-team submission form. The team's name and logo will be announced on Wednesday.
The Dodge City Football office is located at 4100 W Comanche, Dodge City, inside the United Wireless Arena. Season tickets are available to purchase immediately and can be reserved today by calling (620) 371-7248. The team's website can be viewed at www.dodgecityfootball.com.