It was Savannah’s latest attempt at a professional team.
Unfortunately it only lasted two games.
The Coastal Outlaws Arena Football team and their league, the USIF, has ended the 2017 season.
In a letter to players, the team cites financial issues and a lack of community support for the shutdown.
Letter from League Owners:
This has been a very exciting and demanding year for everyone at the League management and at the Administration level as well as the coaches and players. We desire to not only provide an outlet for the players to be able to showcase their talent while working toward their dreams while the coaches strive to build an organization that will be the leader in the league, but also provide a community and family oriented set of events and games that we hope they will find a connection with. We must have community support in order to establish the longevity that we all desire to have in the area. Because of all this desire for success and opportunity for our talented players, it is with regret that I inform all owners, coaches, players, and staff that the USIF league management has decided to suspend the remainder of the 2017 season. We do not desire to become just another fly by night organization that is looked down on by everyone. We know we are strong, have the best players in the region on all our teams and do not discount the hard work that has been done by all. Our current reserves are exhausted, ticket sales and the turn out of the community has not been what we had all hoped and so that we do not go negative owing outstanding balances to any organization, the decision to suspend the season with all teams maintaining current standings going into the 2018 season was approved by the League President after consultation with league owners and the League Commissioner. Our intent is to pause on the success and community outreach we have achieved leading up to and through the first half of the 2017 season, by continuing to market who we are, showcase our player talent, and do a greater campaign of integration across the community while courting larger sponsor and financial support options for 2018. Thank you for your hard work, dedication, and grit you have given to the USIF and we will be back together stronger than ever. Please feel free to share this on all team and fan information sites.
News 3 has learned finances definitely played a part in the team’s demise.
The team averaged less than 100 fans for their two doubleheaders at the Savannah Civic Center, and paid $7000 to rent the space.
They were also unable to get the sponsorship needed to help defray the costs.
As for the players, News 3 contacted Coastal Outlaws owner Scott Scheidt who said that “No players on the Savannah or Richmond Hill teams received any financial compensation in their contracts for the 2017 season.”
The Savannah Steam faced major financial issues last year, and eventually filed bankruptcy owing the City of Savannah and the Civic Center thousands of dollars in unpaid rent for their games.
Their General Manager, Jenny Dammarrel, also was arrested and faced charges.
The Outlaws hopes to play again in a new league, in February.
The USIF hopes to restart next year.