Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Indiana Firebirds were a team in the Arena Football League. The team was based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Home games were played at the Conseco Fieldhouse, also the home of the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association. The team was based in Albany, New York from 1990 to 2000. At that time home games were played at the Pepsi Arena. After the move, the Firebirds competed in the Central Division of the AFL's American Conference.
The 2004 Firebirds just missed the playoffs after a disappointing 0-5 start. However, they finished the season winning eight of the their last eleven games and were considered by some a potential contender for the 2005 Arena Bowl championship led by 2004 Rookie of the Year, quarterback Adrian McPherson.
However, in early September of 2004, Indiana Firebirds owner Dave Lageschulte announced that his company, Lags Football LLC, would cease all business operations for the Firebirds. Lageschulte had been actively, but unsuccessfully, pursuing local investors to purchase the Firebirds since he had assumed ownership in 2002.
On September 20, 2004, the date of the announced sales deadline, the Arena Football League announced the termination of the Firebirds franchise and that the players would be made available to continuing AFL teams in an expansion draft. However, within the week the team was purchased by Scott and Todd Hines, who run H3 Sportsgear , a sportsgear company based in Indianapolis. With AFL approval, it was hoped that the Firebirds could remain operational in Indianapolis. But the AFL checks background and financial qualifications before approving any new team ownership. This move was ultimately disapproved, and the roster of former Firebirds players were made available in the dispersal draft conducted on October 14, 2004, marking the end of one of the AFL's longest-running franchises.
- Greg Hopkins, Wide Receiver/Linebacker 1996-2001
- Mike Horacek, Offensive specialist 2004
- Kyle Mackey, Quarterback 1990
- Adrian McPherson, Quarterback 2004
- Mike Pawlawski, Quarterback 1996-2000
- Raymond Philyaw, Quarterback 2000-2003
- Reggie Smith, Wide Receiver/Defensive back 1990
- Leroy Thompson, Fullback/Linebacker 1996-2004
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