A second Saskatchewan-based Lingerie Football League (LFL) franchise was made official Tuesday, as Saskatoon has been awarded an expansion team.
The controversial sport spectacle in which scantily-clad women play a seven-on-seven version of tackle football was in talks with Credit Union Centre (CUC) about hosting a franchise for the city. It was announced last week that the U.S.-based league awarded a franchise to Regina as part of its Canadian expansion, with the Brandt Centre serving as the team’s home. The Saskatoon team was officially announced in a news release Tuesday morning. Saskatoon will play a four game schedule and be in a Western Canadian division with Abbotsford, B.C., and Regina. The Eastern Division will include Toronto, which played in the league last year, and two yet-to-be-named franchises.
“The LFL has become a very successful sports franchise in the States, drawing sellout crowds,” said Will Lofdahl, CEO of Credit Union Centre, in a press release. “The current level of excitement, fan fare and media attention around LFL Football coming to Canada will certainly translate in our city and building. Especially considering the rivalry that will surely form between us and Regina. We are excited that the LFL has chosen the city of Saskatoon and Credit Union Centre as the official home of the Saskatoon franchise.”
Mitchell Mortaza, the league’s founder and chairman, said in a statement the league is growing in popularity and Saskatchewan’s strong football culture was the reason for two franchises in the province.
“While we have enjoyed unprecedented success in the U.S., we believe LFL Canada will actually draw far more success. The fanatical culture that exists around sports throughout the country and specifically within the Saskatchewan (province), was the primary catalyst behind the formation of LFL Canada and the naming of two Saskatchewan franchises.”
The league has sparked debate in Saskatoon since it was announced to be in discussions with CUC. The LFL has been criticized as a gimmick that demeans female athletes. A number of local female tackle football players have questioned safety because of the lack of equipment worn.
The league is seeking input on the Saskatoon team name via email at LFLinSaskatoon@LFLUS.com.
(From Saskatoon Star-Phoenix)