Launching a new indoor football team is a challenge to begin with, but trying to do so during a pandemic makes it extraordinarily more difficult. Work began years ago to start up the new Central Illinois Royals indoor football team which premiered in 2021. Based out of Morton’s new Park District Indoor Sports Facility, because of COVID, only a limited number of people are able to be in the facility at a time. As a result, they decided to live-stream the games to allow more people to view them.
The Peoria Pirates, the area’s former indoor football team, played at the Peoria Civic Center from 1999 to 2009 and the Royals hope to recreate that experience for area fans. The Royals are hoping to get their team up and running this year so when life goes back to normal next year, patrons will be able to attend games in person.
With more and more people receive their COVID vaccines, the Royals hope that they will be able to sell enough tickets to keep the team profitable to continue for Peoria area fans for many years. The new division, the IDFL, also includes franchises in Indianapolis, Phoenix and St. Louis. The 2021 season includes 8 games with 4 at home and 4 away games.
The team is managed by Andrew “AJ” Funk, a substitute teacher, he formerly played football while attending Eureka College and also serves with the area National Guard. For more details about the team, click HERE