The Indoor Football League (IFL) is proud to announce the 2017 Team Awards for outstanding achievements during the IFL regular season.
Franchise of the Year: Arizona Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers have been named the 2017 IFL Franchise of the Year. Selected by their peers, factors considered for achieving this award consisted of attendance, sales, public relations, marketing, on-field performance, community involvement and overall representation of the IFL.
"We are incredibly honored to be recognized as Franchise of the Year in our first season with the IFL," said Ron Shurts, Owner of the Arizona Rattlers. "It's a testament to our front office, our coaching staff, players, dance team, and most of all our great fans in the Rattler Nation."
In their inaugural season in the IFL, the Rattlers were named Intense Conference Champions and are advancing to play in the United Bowl championship on Saturday July 8. During the season the Rattlers led the IFL in attendance averaging 12,852 fans per game. In addition , the Rattlers set not only a new team record with of 15,189 on May 20 but a new IFL attendance record as well.
Executive of the Year: John Pettit (Vice President/ Chief Operating Officer - Iowa Barnstormers)
Iowa Barnstormers Vice President/ Chief Operating Officer John Pettit has been named the 2017 IFL Executive of the Year.
"I am honored and humbled to receive this recognition from my peers. This award is a testament to our entire Barnstormers organization, said Pettit. "Our ownership, front office staff, coaches players and support staff that put their heart and soul into this team."
Pettit organized the Barnstormers staff that guided Iowa to a 13-3 record and their first playoff appearance in eight years. After starting the season 2-2, the Barnstormers won 11 consecutive games and appeared in the United Conference Championship game. Pettit helped the Barnstormers average 6,800 fans per game, the most during the team's IFL tenure.
Best Fan Base: Arizona Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers joined the IFL with one of the most fervent fanbases in all of indoor football and have been named IFL's Best Fan Base of 2017. The award is given to the team with the fans that show the most enthusiasm, energy, and overall appreciation for their team. Fans at the "Snake Pit" showed up in record numbers this season as the team set a new single game attendance record of 15,189. In addition, the Rattlers led the IFL in average attendance with 12,852 fans per game
Best Game Operations: Iowa Barnstormers
The Iowa Barnstormers have been awarded Best Game Day Operations. The Barnstormers pride themselves in putting on a great show for their home fans, constantly creating the most interactive and innovative on-field promotions. Additionally, the team's game-day presentations, unique half-time shows, giveaways, mascots and music help make the Wells Fargo Arena one of the most entertaining venues in the IFL.
Best Cheerleader/Dance Team: Arizona Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers have earned the Best Cheerleader/Dance Team award in 2017. The "Sidewinders" continue to establish themselves as one of the preeminent dance teams in all of indoor football. The award is based on talent, attractiveness, uniforms and crowd interaction.
Community Relations Award: Sioux Falls Storm
The Community Relations award is presented to the team that best exemplifies outstanding service to their community. The Sioux Falls Storm continue to distinguish themselves as leaders in the Sioux Falls community with their support of programs such as the Rebekah's Legacy Foundation, SURVIVEiT, Make A Wish Foundation, Operation Homefront, among many others. In support of these programs, the Storm raised over $150,000 for the Sioux Falls community this season. Over the last three years, the Storm have raised over $400,000 dollars for the Sioux Falls community.
Hospitality Award: Green Bay Blizzard
The Green Bay Blizzard have earned the Hospitality Award in 2017. The hospitality award is given to the team that provided the best overall experience for the visiting team while on the road. The Blizzard earned the award as the team was judged to have the best host hotel, pre- and post-game meals and other accommodations that exceeded expectations.
Best Website/Social Media: Nebraska Danger
The Nebraska Danger have been awarded Best Website/Social Media in 2017. The Danger earn the award based on a variety of factors such as aesthetics, ease of use, up-to-date information, content and fan interaction.
Best Mascot: Green Bay Blizzard
For the second consecutive season, the IFL's Best Mascot season goes the Green Bay Blizzard. Bruiser the yeti has made his home in the frozen tundra of Green Bay for many years. In 2017, Bruiser along with his niece and nephew, Blizz & Bling appear at many community events around the greater Green Bay area. The Green Bay mascots were named the most creative, energetic and talented mascots in the IFL.
Best Media Relations: Spokane Empire
The Spokane Empire have been awarded Best Media Relations. The Empire earned the designation based on their media involvement, press releases, game notes, articles, media guides and overall content.
The 2017 United Bowl Championship kicks off on Saturday, July 8 at 5:05 PM at the Denny Sanford Premier Center between the Arizona Rattlers and the Sioux Falls Storm. The 2017 United Bowl can be viewed live on the IFL's YouTube channel!