In a press conference at the Sanford Center in Bemidji today, Bemidji Professional Football LLC was announced as the newest member of the Indoor Football League. The team will be the first ever professional sports franchise in Bemidji's history and the 10th team in the IFL. In addition, team officials announced a "Name YOUR Team" contest in which fans are encouraged to submit suggestions as to what the team's new name and colors should be.
Chris Kokalis, Director of the IFL's expansion committee & also co-owner & General Manager of the Cedar Rapids Titans will serve as team president and help ensure the league's smallest market is successful in all facets. Kokalis will lead the team's ownership group and put together a local front office staff in Bemidji. In addition to his new duties with Bemidji's franchise he will also continue his role with the league and the Titans. "When I visited Bemidji a few weeks back I immediately fell in love with both the Sanford Center & the community. I wanted to ensure that we as a league brought our great product to Bemidji.", explained Kokalis, "We as a league have had success in markets like Sioux Falls, Grand Island, Green Bay, and Cedar Rapids with those teams averaging over 4000 fans a game. I truly believe that with the success of BSU sports & the first class venue that this franchise can enjoy similar success".
In partnership with the Bemidji Pioneer, Bemidji Professional Football is seeking a team name & colors. "This is Bemidji & northern Minnesota's team. The team's goal is to contribute something special to the community. Having the community name the team is very important to the organization. It truly the community's team so we felt strongly that it should be named by the community", explained Mike Allshouse, the IFL's Director of Football Operations. The Pioneer will run ads beginning Saturday, August 24th through Sunday, September 1st featuring entry ballots where fans and members of the community can write their suggestions for the new team name and colors and can bring these into the offices in Bemidji. Officials are planning to unveil the team name on Wednesday, September 4th at a location to be determined and announced. One lucky fan who makes a suggestion that the team utilizes for the name will win four VIP season tickets for life and have their number retired at the team's home opener! Name suggestions can also be submitted at www.bemidjiprofootball.com.
Season tickets for the team's inaugural season are now on sale starting at just $56 (just $9 per game!). Anyone ordering season tickets by September 1st will receive a commemorative Indoor Football League hooded sweatshirt (one per order). Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.bemidjiprofootball.com .