A new indoor football team is coming to the Tennessee Valley. The newly founded Tennessee Rail Runners was introduced as the newest team to join the Ultimate Indoor Football League.
We've seen our fair share of failed arena football leagues nationally. The UIFL claims to be different. League President Andrew Haines says he's studied failures in the past and is determined to make it work.
"We wanted to come up with a solution to be involved in this business and not lose hundreds of thousands of dollars every year," said Haines.
Haines lost money as a team owner in the former AIFL. He said the problem was revenue sharing, or lack thereof
Haines said "back then it was very league heavy, which means the league made money. The teams did not. In order to sustain long term viability, we had to flip flop that."
Haines has lowered entrance fees for teams, they've bought a fleet of busses which will be rented out in the off season. In it's first year half of the teams broke even or turned a profit. Their business model has allowed the league to expand from six teams to 16 in it's second year.
The newest, the Tennessee Rail Runners, they'll play at Camp Jordan's arena.
East Ridge Mayor Brent Lambert says he did his research and this is a great get.
"Being able to draw in fans from all over, it's going to be great for our economy. It's a first class operation, we're very excited," said Lambert.
Former Kentucky Wildcat and Super Bowl winning New York Giants Lineman Jared Lorenzen is the league commissioner.
Lorenzen says indoor football is addictive. If you haven't seen it live, the Tennessee Valley is in for a treat next March.
"To throw a pass and have a fan knock it down, it's something that only happens in arena. It's a different breed of football. It's exciting, it's fan friendly. We average like 68 points a game last year," said Lorenzen.
Training camp is scheduled to start Feb. 16, the season starts in early March. The Rail Runners will have seven home games at Camp Jordan. Single game tickets will be seven dollars, and season tickets about 42 dollars, they'll be on sale soon.