The Nebraska Danger has possibly played its last game in Grand Island.
During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Danger owner Charlie Bosselman announced Bosselman Enterprises is looking to sell the Indoor Football League franchise.
“Nine years ago the Nebraska Danger was created by Bosselman Enterprises from the idea that the Heartland Events Center needed an anchor tenant and the city of Grand Island and Central Nebraska needed an indoor football team,” Bosselman said. “Since that first kickoff in 2011, the Danger has been a successful football team both on and off the field.”
He said that Bosselman Enterprises’ expansion into 23 states and into various new businesses makes the sale necessary.
“The biggest thing is we’re not in the professional sports business,” Bosselman said. “It’s kind of a sideline. With the growth of our company, it’s just become too much work on all my different departments to execute it.
“The team itself has done a spectacular job both on and off the field, so we’ve done a great job with that. It’s just we have kind of limited resources, and in a growth mode it becomes difficult to allocate those resources to something that we don’t really specialize in.”
It wasn’t an easy decision for Bosselman to make.
“This team has been a source of pride for our company since 2011,” he said. “It is with mixed emotions that we pursue these strategic alternatives in the hope that they allow the Danger to continue on in this or another market.”
Bosselman said the hope is that an owner or ownership group would step forward who would keep the Danger in Grand Island. But if that isn’t possible, a sale to an owner who would relocate the franchise could take place.
By making the announcement that the team is up for sale so soon after the completion of the IFL season, Bosselman hopes the chances are good that a buyer can be found before the upcoming season. He said a sale would need to take place by September for the team to sign a league affiliation agreement with the IFL and be part of the scheduling process for the 2020 season.
“We’re going to be working up to that date and try to work for a solution until that time,” Bosselman said.
If no buyer is found before then, the franchise could go dormant for the upcoming year.
Talks have already taken place with potential buyers, some of whom would keep the team in Grand Island and some who would keep the team “in the general vicinity,” he said.
“The Danger isn’t going to go away,” Bosselman said. “There might be some question marks about what market it is going to be in. We’re hoping that it will be in this market. ... I have been and am currently pursuing a lot of different options. We’re just going to see how things shake out.”
The sale could be beneficial for the Danger in the long run, and it doesn’t mean that Bosselman Enterprises is entirely done with the franchise.
“I think a new owner that could come in and devote the time and effort needed would be a great thing for the team,” Bosselman said. “And I’m not saying that we’re going to back away completely from involvement with the team. There could be a number of different scenarios where we’re still involved in some capacity. We’ll see how it turns out.”
After a shaky first season, the Danger have regularly found themselves near the top of the IFL standings. Nebraska has qualified for the playoffs for seven straight years, won three conference championships and made three appearances in the United Bowl.
Bosselman said he knows the impact of this announcement on the fans who have supported the Nebraska Danger for almost a decade.
“We appreciate everyone,” he said. “The community has been a huge part of this whole thing. A town of 50,000 people supporting a franchise like this is almost unheard of. If you look in the IFL itself, all of the markets are metro markets. That wasn’t necessarily the case when we first started. ... I’ve always considered us the Green Bay of the NFL. ...
“We’re trying to find a solution that benefits not only the team itself but the fans, the sponsors and everybody else,” Bosselman said.