WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The Wichita Falls Nighthawks will not play in 2018, owner Drew Carnes told Newschannel 6 on Monday.
In an exclusive interview with Sports Director Adam Ostrow, Carnes said that, due to a legal challenge from the team's former league, the IFL, they will not be able to play this coming season.
Carnes released the following announcement after the interview:
Wichita Falls, TX October 16, 2017– The Wichita Falls Nighthawks announce that due to unfounded legal threats from the Indoor Football League (IFL) and the effects of those threats to the Champions Indoor Football League (CIF), the Nighthawks will not be able to participate in the 2018 season. The team is evaluating the option of playing in 2019.
Owners Drew and Teri Carnes issued the following statement:
"Three years ago, my wife and I took over the Wichita Falls Nighthawks brand with the idea of creating an organization centered on excellence and integrity, while also befitting those in the community that needed it the most. We have largely succeeded in that mission, building a franchise that seems destined to be champions. However, it is with the deepest regret that we must announce that the Wichita Falls Nighthawks will not be playing in the 2018 season.
We were excited for the opportunities that joining the CIF promised for keeping the Nighthawks present in the community. We felt having playing partners in close proximity would be immensely helpful in reducing expenses, as well as increasing sponsorship and ticket sales.
The realization that we cannot play has been difficult for us, but even more so for those that work within the organization. Coach Back moved his family here and they have become a part of this community. Many of the players have also made Wichita Falls their home, and not having the team play here is a loss for them and the city. The sudden impact of the actions taken against us have affected many.
We are saddened at the loss for the community. We have impacted nonprofits and schools by providing monetary opportunities and many talented mentors in the players that have come to play. We filled a void that Wichita Falls didn't even recognize it had. This loss will be felt much more than the games that are played each weekend in the spring."
Due to ongoing legal concerns, the organization is limited on releasing the full details of its current and future plans.
Stay with Newschannel 6 for more from this story.