The Tucson Sugar Skulls have a new regional rival in the Indoor Football League.
Meet the Duke City Gladiators.
The team will move from Champion Indoor Football to the IFL starting next season, the new league announced Tuesday. The IFL is expected to announce further expansion moves in the coming weeks.
Duke City, the two-time defending CIF champions, join a new league that's skewing increasingly westward. The Sugar Skulls and San Diego Strike Force both made their IFL debuts a year ago, joining the league stalwart Rattlers. The league now has teams in 11 cities: San Diego; Phoenix; Tucson; Albuquerque; Bismarck, North Dakota; Rapid City, South Dakota; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Quad Cities, Iowa; Des Moines, Iowa; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Grand Island, Nebraska.
IFL commissioner Michael Allshouse said the Gladiators "bring a strong winning tradition to the IFL while solidifying our geographic footprint," he said. "We look forward to the intense southwestern rivalries the Gladiators will bring to the IFL and to a long and productive partnership with the team and city."
The Gladiators play their home games at Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque.