The indoor and arena football world is volatile. Year after year there are teams and leagues announced promising debuts in the following year. League names, locations, team names and logos are revealed and they generate a small amount of buzz. Often times these leagues and teams never actually make an official debut. Late in 2018, the Tampa Bay Tornadoes officially launched. The team held a ribbon ceremony and announced official dates for tryouts. In July of 2019, a whole different picture is being painted.
On July 31st, the Tampa Bay Tornadoes Twitter page tweeted out that the individual behind the account was stepping away, or removing, themselves as social media manager, effective immediately. While they said that it was effective immediately, including the deletion of the current Twitter handle, the page has remained. When I came across the tweet, I reached out to the social media manager to see if I could gather any information as to what happened or what was going on with the team. The response? Less than professional.
The individual running the Tornadoes social media account stated that the only way they would give any information pertaining to the story is if they were “compensated” for their time. They mentioned that they were very close to management and felt “uncomfortable” providing any information surrounding the tweet or any other story coming out of Tampa. This response is completely unprofessional.
Since the tweet has been released to the public, rumors have circulated that the team has unpaid debts, the official website has been down for over two weeks now; needless to say, there’s nothing positive surrounding anything coming out of Tampa Bay currently. While I can neither confirm nor deny the current rumors surrounding the organization, the overall current look of the Tornadoes is dismal. This development surrounding this team is wildly unfortunate as nobody wants or expects teams and leagues to fold before even really getting an opportunity to showcase what they’re capable of achieving.
Hopefully the current status of the Tampa Bay Tornadoes is only a bump in the road and they’ll be able to achieve their 2020 season debut.
~Michael Washington-Weeks, AFN Live Host
FB: Michael Washington