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Possible ownership group lined up for IFL franchise

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sports Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

BEMIDJI -- Bemidji is one step closer to having an Indoor Football League franchise.

Curtis Webb, Sanford Center executive director, said Thursday he couldn't divulge many details but there are people interested in starting a team.

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"Things are looking very positive," Webb said. "We're moving forward with one ownership group."

Webb wasn't at liberty to discuss specifics but said the "ownership group" as of now is a single owner, although the person is looking for more interested parties.

"Nothing's done until it's done, but we've agreed on some details," Webb said. "Right now, we're working on some of the little things."

IFL expansion director Chris Kokalis had visited Bemidji in July to gauge interest at a press conference at the Sanford Center. He said for a team to be ready to play the 2014 season the league would ideally want an ownership group in place by late August or September at the latest.

Webb said he hopes everything will be in place in the next few days.

"Like I said, it's not all the way done but we're pretty excited," Webb said. "I think it will do a ,lot of good for the Sanford Center, for the city and the community."

The IFL, currently in its sixth year, currently has nine teams. Each team plays a 14-game schedule -- seven home games and seven road games. The season begins in February and ends in June.

If a team were to come to Bemidji, it would be the smallest market in a league that includes cities as large as Chicago and as small as Grand Island, Neb.

League officials have also expressed interest in other cities around the region, including Fargo and Bismarck, N.D.

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Jack Hittinger is the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He is also the Bemidji State beat writer. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at http://thebeaverblog.areavoices.com/ and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.
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