National Gridiron League expanding to Evansville

National Gridiron League expanding to Evansville

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - The National Gridiron League (NGL), America's premier spring football league, is proud to announce that it has awarded an expansion franchise to the city of Evansville, Indiana. The team, named the Indiana Firebirds, will be the League's first announced franchise in the state of Indiana and play its home games at the beautiful Ford Center.

"We are thrilled to welcome Evansville to our league," said NGL President Joe McClendon, III. "Evansville passion for sports entertainment and the city's vision for providing its citizens with the best experiences makes for the perfect time for the NGL to come to Evansville. The expansion of the NGL into Indiana marks yet another positive move forward in the execution of our strategic plan. Seeing that vision come into focus is a tribute to our incredible staff, ownership, and soon to be world-class players. This the league is committed to bringing an elite-level professional team and fan experience the city richly deserves. We look forward to working with the city and the Ford Center on a strategic and successful launch for the Indiana Firebirds."

The path to today's announcement was initiated months ago, when initial talks between the Ford Center and the league began. The two parties have been working all winter to achieve today's announcement.

The Firebirds will begin to play in 2019 competing in the eastern league conference. In addition to the venue, the Firebirds will start working to secure a privately-developed training center and focused on developing players.

Additional news and information on the club – including players, management, and staff – will be announced in the future. More information can be found at

More about the National Gridiron League:

Beginning in 2019, the National Gridiron League, a new spring indoor football league played in twelve U.S. metropolitan area throughout America, will enter its debut season. The league hopes to grow on and off the field of quality, scale, profile, and reputation allowing it to become America's premier spring football league. The league was founded in 2017 as a minor league alternative to the National Football League and a respectable destination for recent college football graduates. Based in the southeast, the league will draw many of its players from college football's major conferences. The NGL launched in the hopes of providing an exceptional quality product on the field and a positive community impact off the field.More about indoor football:

While several attempts to create a true indoor football game have been made since shortly after American football was developed, the first version to meet with relatively widespread success and acceptance was the Arena Football League, devised by Jim Foster, a former executive of the National Football League. He devised his game while watching indoor soccer. He staged a "test" game in Rockford, Illinois in 1986 and put together a four-team league for a "demonstration season" in the spring of 1987, with games televised on ESPN.

In the United States, indoor football is football played at ice hockey-sized indoor arenas. While varied, the rules of indoor football are designed to allow for play in a smaller arena. The indoor football season typically begins in mid- to late-winter and ends by mid-summer.

Courtesy: Ford Center