On Monday, the Indoor Football League’s board decided to revoke the membership for newly added Louisville Xtreme.
Unfortunately, this isn’t new for the franchise. The Xtreme has jumped around the arena scene since the Champions Indoor Football League (CIFL) had to close down following the 2014 season. Before the shutdown, the league had suspended the Louisville club after one of its owners effectively abandoned the team to join the CFL’s Blue Bombers.
As the Kentucky Xtreme, the franchise played in the Minor League Football Alliance (MLFA) in 2015 but went dormant after that season.
Most recently (2019), the team had played in the American Arena League (AAL), but during the 2020 season, the league and the rebranded Louisville Xtreme decided to part ways over a disagreement about COVID-19 protocols.
They then pursued a spot in the National Arena League (NAL) but were denied after failure to obtain the necessary line of credit the league requires for membership. But just when it looked like 2021 was a wash, the IFL allowed them to join their stable of clubs. But things didn’t get much better.
According to a report by Inside the Arena, the franchise purchased their playing surface used in the KFC Yum Center from the Hanna Marketing Group, a Baltimore-based company specializing in sports marketing and management. According to the post, the Xtreme has yet to pay for the field fully. Here is an excerpt from the report:
“HMG Sports, who sold the Baltimore Brigade field to the Louisville Xtreme, are now suing the team, HMG Sports tells Inside the Arena. They’ve already sued in civil court for the value of the field system. The Baltimore States Attorney is looking to file potential criminal charges against the Xtreme for wire fraud and theft by deception. The Xtreme reportedly owe HMG Sports over $30K.Inside the Arena
“HMG Sports says they may also move to repossess the field system due to non-payment.”
The marketing group itself released a statement via Facebook recently:
“HMG SPORTS MOVES TO REPOSSESS FIELD SYSTEM FROM LOUISVILLE AFTER CIVIL ACTION FILED AND XTREME REMOVED FROM IFLWill Hanna, National Director of HMG Sports
HMG Sports has put out a public statement that it has filed a Writ of Repossession with the Circuit Court in Baltimore. The move comes as the IFL has announced that it has removed the Louisville Xtreme from its league effective yesterday.
HMG Sports was in the process of completing the sale of the former Baltimore Brigade field system to Louisville owner Victor Cole and had not received full payment.
“We’ve tried to help another owner who intended to do good, but things didn’t go as plannned and now with the team not playing, we’ll never see the tens of thousands of dollars we’ve lost.”
On top of this, we have also heard – this is unconfirmed at the time of publishing – that the team’s financial issues stretched to not paying its players. We have reached out to the team and multiple players, but there hasn’t been a response yet.
The week before the IFL.made its decision to revoke the Xtreme’s membership, their June 12th game vs. the Green Bay Blizzard had been canceled.
Today, the team released a statement of their own:
“Louisville Xtreme membership terminated in the IFLLouisville, KY. – In light of the recent announcement by the Indoor Football League (IFL), we would like to thank our fans, sponsors, and the community for their support during our tenure with the IFL. Although we are saddened by the IFL’s decision we understand and wish the league the best. We are currently in the process of notifying all of our sponsors and season ticket holders as to next steps. We ask that everybody be patient during this time of transition. The Louisville Xtreme has no intentions of folding and we look forward to an exciting 2022 season. Please continue to follow the Louisville Xtreme at www.louxtreme.com for updates.”Louisville Xtreme Ownership Group
This story is still developing, and it’s unclear whether the team will continue operating. Finding a league for the 2022 season could be difficult, considering their recent history.
The city deserves better. Louisville has been in the market of trying to become an expansion destination for multiple leagues, most notably the NBA. Things like this do not do the city any favors.
Stay with Sapient as more information comes in on this story.