IFL, Rattlers delay start of season in hopes of more fan attendance
Arizona Rattlers head coach Kevin Guy said that the Indoor Football League is delaying the start of its season in hopes of having more fans at games.
“We’re getting ready for the season and we also made the decision that we want to have fans in the stands, so we pushed the season back as far as we could,” Guy told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Thursday.
“Our first home game is not going to be until mid-June and usually we’re starting in March. For us to have a season this is what we had to do.”
The Rattlers kick off their season on the road when they take on the Northern Arizona Wranglers on May 16. Arizona will then host the Green Bay Blizzard for its home opener on June 4.
Guy was adamant about having fans at games, especially since the Rattlers are returning to downtown Phoenix after playing the 2019 season at Gila River Arena.
“We’re moving back to downtown Phoenix to be able to play in our home, the Snake Pit, in Phoenix Suns Arena,” Guy said. “We’re just worried about logistics and we’re working on getting those things in place.”
The IFL last played in 2019 after last season was canceled due to COVID-19. Guy and the Rattlers fell to the Sioux Falls Storm in the 2019 championship game.
Guy is also a part of the ownership group for the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Birmingham Bulls, which has been able to fill 75% of their arena in a cautious, safe manner. Guy hopes to have a similar turnout when the IFL season starts up.
“It can be done,” Guy said. “I’ve already lived through it. I’m not talking fantasies here, I know what needs to be done.”