INDOOR FOOTBALL RETURNS TO POLK COUNTY
The Florida Tarpons are excited to announce that all home games for the 2018 season will be played at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, FL. The Tarpons are entering their 7th season, which will begin during Spring of 2018.
“It was a tough decision to relocate the team, one that was carefully considered. We feel its in the best interest of the Tarpons both short and long term success. Having played many games in Lakeland over the past 6 season, its given us an opportunity to meet some of the arena staff, and local community leaders. The RP Funding Center is going through major renovations that will enhance the fan experience.” Said Michael Taylor Tarpons President.
Earlier this year the RP Funding Center began a $14 million dollar renovation. ”We are excited to be part of the Tarpons new beginning. The RP Funding Center is looking forward to adding Indoor Football to our list of events. The addition makes us a premier facility for sports and entertainment in Central Florida.” Says Tony Camarillo, Director of the RP Funding Center.
The Tarpons will compete in the American Arena League (AAL), which has teams throughout the east coast. The schedule which will include 5 home games at the RP Funding Center will be announced later this year.
Tony Zefiretto, CEO American Arena League, “The Florida Tarpons is a franchise that league’s build their foundation. The American Arena League is excited that we will be continuing our partnership Michael Taylor and the entire Tarpons staff. They are a professional organization which is focused on setting the highest standards. I anticipate that the Tarpons new home in a renovated facility will be met with great enthusiasm in Lakeland, Florida.”
Season tickets will go on sale October 6th at 9am, and prices start at $50.00. Any 2017 season ticket holder can receive FREE season tickets for the 2018 season.
A press conference will be held in the coming weeks to formally introduce the team, coaches, and more. Visit www.floridatarpons.com
About the Tarpons:
The Florida Tarpons were established in June 2011, and began play in the Ultimate Indoor Football League. In July the Tarpons announced that Owner Michael Taylor would also serve as the teams Head Coach for the 2012 season. The team started play at Germain Arena in Estero, FL in early 2012.
During the 2012 season the Tarpons led the league in attendance, sponsorship revenue, and on the field record. The Tarpons finished the regular season undeated with 11 wins and home field advantage throughout the post season. In the Southern Conference Championship, the Tarpons beat the Lakeland Raiders 60-29, and advanced to the Ultimate Bowl II.
The Tarpons hosted the Ultimate Bowl II against the Northern Conference Champions Cincinnati Comandos. Cincinnati won the Ultimate Bowl II 44-61.
The first season saw great success on and off the field. Terranc.e Jones won UIFL South Defensive Player of theYear, Ross Gornall (Kicker) won South Special Teams Player of the Year, 11 players won 1st team All-UIFL South awards, 3 won Honorable Mention. Head Coach Michael Taylor was named UIFL South Coach of the Year. Four players earned invitations to NFL Rookie Mini Camps.
During the 2013 season the team finished 5-1 in the regular season. Advancing to the Ultimate Bowl for the 2nd consecutive year. In Ultimate Bowl III, the Tarpons beat the Corpus Christi Fury 40-32 bringing the first championship to the Tarpons. Tarpons QB Chris Wallace was voted MVP of Ultimate Bowl III.
The Tarpons entered the 2014 season as the favorite. With some early season struggles, the Tarpons finished the season with a 4-4 record. Finishing the season strong heading in to the post season, the Tarpons advanced to the Ultimate Bowl for the 3rdconsecutive year. This time it was a rematch and on the road with the Corpus Christi Fury. The Fury defeated the Tarpons 23-60.
The UIFL merged with the X-League prior to the 2015 season. During the regular season the Tarpons finished with a record of 6-2, and advanced to the league championship for the 4th consecutive year. The Tarpons won their 2nd league championship when they beat the Florida Marine Raiders (Lakeland) 65-23.
Prior to the 2016 season the X-League merged with the AIF. The Tarpons finished the regular season with a 7-1 record and advanced to the post season for a 5th consecutive year. Hosting the Savannah Steam, the Tarpons won 71-20, and advanced to the Southern Conference Championship against the Columbus Lions. The Lions won 79-66 and ended the Tarpons season.
2017 marked the Tarpons 5th appearance in the league championship game, falling 61 to 74 in Richmond, VA.
2018 Season: After their 6th season in Southwest Florida, the Tarpons relocated to Lakeland, FL.
During their 6 years, the Tarpons regular season record was 38-9, post season record of 4-4. The team played in the championship game 5 out of 6 seasons, winning 2 league championships.