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Indoor football is back in Everett

Everett Raptors of the Indoor Football League begin play in February.

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By Rich Myhre
Herald Writer
After an absence of several years, arena football is returning to Everett.
The Everett Raptors will debut in the 2012 Indoor Football League season, which runs from February to June, with a potential postseason stretching into July.
The team will play its seven regular-season home games at Comcast Arena in Everett.
Raptors *general manager Mike Barry could not be reached for comment on Monday, but formal announcement of the team's arrival in Everett will take place this morning at a Comcast Arena press conference.
This will be Everett's second try at arena football. The Everett Hawks played at Comcast Arena from 2005 to 2007, spending one season in the National Indoor Football League and the final two seasons in arenafootball2 or af2.
The Hawks averaged around 4,000 fans a game during an undefeated 2005 regular season, but folded after the 2007 season in the midst of significant financial losses.
The Raptors will be the fourth regular tenant at Comcast Arena, joining the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League, the Washington Stealth of the National Lacrosse League, and the Tilted Thunder Rail Birds banked-track roller derby league.
Having another sports team in town will certainly be good for Everett-area sports fans, according to Comcast Arena general manager Kim Bedier.
"When (arena) football was here before," she said, "it was initially really popular. And I think it obviously could be popular again with a well-run organization."
The arena, Bedier added, is "here to provide variety. The football fans out there, maybe they're not hockey, lacrosse and roller derby fans. Or maybe they are. But it's one more thing to bring them downtown."
There will be an obvious financial benefit from having another rent-paying tenant in the arena, although the extent of the benefit "will be based on attendance," Bedier said. "But obviously we think we're going to make a little money."
And that would be both on ticket sales and on concessions, since "football fans tend to eat lots of food and drink lots of beverages," she said.
Last year's IFL Pacific Division champions, the Fairbanks (Alaska) Grizzlies, suspended operations for the 2012 season, as did the Seattle Timberwolves. The division also includes the Tri-Cities Fever and the Wenatchee Valley Venom.
*Correction, Oct. 18, 2011: The original article used the incorrect title for Mike Barry.
Story tags » Football

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