By Derek Harper
Founder and President
Last April it was leaked by the website Oakland News Now that Oakland, California would be getting an Indoor Football League (IFL) franchise. Today the Oakland franchise was officially announced as the Panthers. Something interesting to note is that upon looking up the Oakland Panthers on Facebook the result that comes up is a Freedom Football League (FFL) team called the Oakland Panthers. The FFL is a new outdoor league expected to start play this spring so it’ll be interesting to see what comes of that. The IFL franchise will be owned by Roy Choi who also owns two other IFL franchises, the Cedar Rapids River Kings and San Diego Strike Force. Marshawn Lynch will be a co-owner of the Panthers. Lynch spent time with multiple NFL teams during his career including his hometown Oakland Raiders. The Panthers will play home games at Oakland Arena, formerly Oracle Arena, filling the sports void at Oakland Arena that the Warriors left when they moved across the Bay to San Francisco. The Panthers will also fill the football void that the NFL’s Raiders will leave prior to the 2020 season. The addition of Oakland makes 12 teams ahead of the 2020 season which kicks off late February. There’s still more expansion news expected to be announced in the near future, so stay tuned to Arena Football Talk as news becomes available!