Two Former Tri-Cities Teams You’ve Probably Forgotten
On the heels of this week's announcement the Tri-City Fever Indoor Football League Team is going 'dormant' for the 2017 season, now comes fresh information that supports what some insiders are saying: the team is done, and will either disband or be sold and relocated.
When the team and owner Teri Carr released a statement saying the team was going to take a year off, but would still remain in good standing with the Indoor Football League (IFL), there was a glimmer of hope more financial backing could be found to help offset operating losses.
But Friday, according to sources, Carr said in a text message Thursday the team has played it's last game at Toyota Center.
There is still the option of a local investor taking over the team and keeping it here, or it could be relocated with league approval, which likely would involve a sale. But the most likely scenario is, the Tri-Cities will lose it's third significant professional sports franchise completely. The Fever won't be the first team to go away.
The old Tri-City Triplets, who played their last season of Northwest 'A' League baseball at Richland High's Bomber field, were a Texas Rangers affiliate for two years from 1983-84, then an independent team for two, before folding and leaving in 1986. They moved to Boise, Idaho, where they became the current Hawks NW League affiliate for the Cubs and now the Rockies.
You may also remember the ill-fated Tri-City Chinook, who were of the old Continental Basketball Association, now called the D-League (NBA Developmental league). The team played in the Toyota Center from 1992 through 1995, before folding and abruptly leaving town without warning. Many long timeTri-Citians may remember word spreading of moving vans outside the venue, loading equipment, then leaving.
Owner Mike Lundgren would not comment that day, the equipment was taken to a warehouse in Pasco. The most famous player who was a part of the franchise was former University of Montana standout Wayne Tinkle, who is now the head coach of the Oregon State Beavers. The Chinook folded despite being sixth in CBA attendance during their three years.
The Fever have not officially said they are hanging it up. But all signs point toward the end of indoor football, at least for now, in the Tri-Cities.