Columbus Lions Transition to AIF for 2016 Season
The Columbus Lions and Lehigh Valley Steelhawks, formerly of the Professional Indoor Football League, have announced their intentions to play the 2016 season as members of the American Indoor Football League (AIF).
Following the 2015 PIFL season the league owners were informed about the departure of one of its league members along with the Trenton Freedom announcing that they would cease operations. With five franchises remaining in the current PIFL, the remaining league owners worked diligently on all options for the future of the league. Within those discussions, and with sensitivity to time and planning for each team, three of the remaining five franchises elected the option to sit the 2016 out instead of playing under a different league affiliation. With no plans to sit out, the Columbus Lions and the Steelhawks spent many weeks researching and speaking with other indoor leagues and team owners, and chose the AIF as their destination for play in 2016.
Columbus Lions head coach, Jason Gibson said about the change, "Hopefully it’ll build for more rivalries. We’ll see what happens. I’m excited. It kind of keeps things from getting stale sometimes when you do something for so long- this being our tenth year. But, from a really positive standpoint, we won the SIFL in 2010, the PIFL this year, and now we’re in the AIF. Maybe we can put a third trophy up there. And it’s still back-to-back for us. I don’t care what league we’re in, that’s what I’ve talked to the players about. They’re excited about coming back and we just have to do things bigger and better and bluer."