YAKIMA, Wash. — There appears to be a pretty good chance that indoor football will return to Yakima next year.
Warren Reynolds said he is making strides in setting up the Yakima Canines, who will play in the American West Football Conference.
“We’re a little ahead of schedule,” Reynolds said Saturday, noting that the franchise is now taking orders for VIP ticket packages and working on securing sponsorships.
There is a sales staff and Reynolds said they are working to find office space. The team has also signed a handful of players.
Reynolds knows the AWFC well, having been on the ground floor when the league debuted with four teams this past spring.
His brother, Chris, is the league owner and Warren was co-owner and coach of the Tri-Cities Fire.
“We decided to have a league where everyone supports each other,” he said. “If one team fails, we all fail. We want to be successful for years.”
Warren parted ways with Tri-Cities after the season and immediately took aim at bringing a team to Yakima.
“When I parted with Tri-Cities, it was a no-brainer to go with Yakima,” he said, adding that a big reason for that is knowing how Yakima fans have embraced their sports teams.
“I believe this community wanted a football team back,” he said. “They’re football fans … and in Yakima, they come around their teams.
“I want the community to support the team and we want to do different things for the community.”
Reynolds is confident the team will play in the SunDome and said they’ve had “four or five” conversations with Central Washington State Fair officials.
“At our last meeting, (we were told) there were some things that need to get done on our end,” he said. “We’re finalizing details.”
Outgoing CWSF general manager and fair board president Greg Stewart agreed that they would like to build a partnership with the franchise.
“They’ve talked to us … and were working on a contract,” Stewart said Saturday, adding that the two sides haven’t been in contact with each other recently.
“We’d like to put something together but we’re in the unknown,” he continued. “They talk a good dance.”
The SunDome has housed two indoor teams in the past — the Yakima Shockwave and Yakima Valley Warriors — but both franchises fizzled out after one season.
The original four teams this past season were the Fire, the Idaho Horsemen in Nampa, the Wenatchee Valley Skyhawks and Reno Express.
In addition to Yakima, the league is hoping to add a team in San Francisco for 2020.
Each team would play 12 games, six home and six away, with the regular season running from the last Saturday in March to late June, followed by playoffs.
The VIP ticket packages cost $179 for two tickets, with fans able to select their seats, and merchandise.
Reynolds said regular tickets are expected to cost between $16 and $32 per game.