For the first time in almost two decades there will not be indoor professional football in Amarillo this summer.
The announcement came Wednesday morning when the Champions Indoor Football League — which includes the Amarillo Venom — board of directors announced that the 2020 season has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had been looking ways at how we could play these last three or four months,” Amarillo Venom owner Stephanie Tucker said. “We were trying to figure out how we could get the players here, and how do we keep people safe. From Sioux City, Iowa, down to our new team in West Texas, we didn’t feel we could get on the field.”
The Venom had been explored ways to play in 2020 and exhausted any and all possibilities before formally cancelling this season.
“We worked really hard with the Civic Center,” Tucker said. “They were in the hopes of us opening in July. We were going to try 800 fans, but there were no guarantees. We had every hope and desire to get to play. But we know everything from this point forward will be positive, and we will make sure our 2021 season will be the best one ever.”
Julian Reese has been a part or Amarillo indoor football since his playing days that started with the Dusters franchise in 2004.
Reese was getting set for his ninth season as the head football coach of the Venom. Reese was devastated when he learned the season had been cancelled.
“It’s terrible,” Reese said. “We were excited. Guys were still working out and pumped. We were anticipating a championship season, we had a new culture going on with some younger guys that were eager and ready to go. We had hopes that were going to play, but you have to abide by the law. Our biggest thing was safety for everyone and that’s good leadership from the top of our organization.”
The Champions Indoor Football league will aggressively begin planning for the 2021 season, and upcoming league meetings for member teams, and potential expansion teams, in the coming weeks.
For more information about the CIF please visit the league website at www.gocif.net.