ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The owner of the New Mexico Stars pro indoor football team confirmed Wednesday that his franchise is leaving the Indoor Football League to join the Lone Star Football League for the 2013 season.
The Stars, who play their games at the Santa Ana Star Center, had a 2-12 record in the IFL’s Intense Conference last season in their expansion year, which ran from February through June.
“The Lone Star league is regionalized and all its teams are in Texas,” Jerry Dunn said of a league that currently has six franchises, including ones in Amarillo and Odessa. “We’ll get to play in West Texas three hours from home, which will give fans a chance to travel back and forth and create a more fun environment at games.”
In the IFL, the Stars’ shortest road trip was to Fort Collins to face the Colorado Ice, a trip of more than 500 miles. They also took two 48-hour round-trip bus rides to Washington state for games. Amarillo, meanwhile, is less than 300 miles from Albuquerque, and Odessa is 400 miles away.
There remains one hurdle, though. Dunn said the Stars are looking to renegotiate the team’s lease at the Star Center and with the city of Rio Rancho. Those two entities were scheduled to hold a meeting late Wednesday and get back to Dunn by today.
“We just have a couple of details to work out — make adjustments to make this viable for the team in the long term,” Dunn said from his home in Idaho.
“They (the city and Star Center) are absolutely super about this and doing everything in their power to make things work. It’s a very friendly negotiation.”
Lone Star commissioner Darlene Jones said the league is excited about the prospect of adding the Stars.
“They are a great and very well-run organization,” she said via email Wednesday afternoon. “Their philosophies are the same as our mission statement. And I feel they are very good ‘business’ men.”
— This article appeared on page D5 of the Albuquerque Journal