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Indoor football likely returning to Billings

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Posted at 5:30 PM, Apr 16, 2021

BILLINGS -- Indoor football is back on the table in Billings.

MTN Sports has learned an ownership group called Pick Six Entertainment, LLC, has a contract agreement with First Interstate Arena awaiting approval from the Yellowstone County Commissioners at their next meeting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Keith Russ, a member of the new ownership group, told MTN Sports by phone on Friday that many of the team's details will be announced in a media conference on Friday, April 30, including team name, colors and possibly a head coach. Russ confirmed that Billings will be part of the Champions Indoor Football League which fields eight squads. However, Amarillo and West Texas are dormant this season with COVID-19 restrictions on their arenas, Russ said. He added that Billings and Rapid City, S.D., are likely the two expansion teams.

Teams Billings fans may recognize include the Omaha (Neb.) Beef and Sioux City (Iowa) Bandits. The Wyoming Mustangs are a first-year member headquartered in Gillette where Russ is both owner and current head coach. The CIF is three weeks into its season, also showcasing three Kansas teams in Dodge City, Salina and Wichita.

The Billings franchise would kick off next year with a three-year contract proposal through 2024. Ownership is requesting six home games per season at First Interstate Arena, plus the possibility of playoffs.

The last time Billings fielded an indoor football team was five years ago with the Wolves during 2015 and 2016. The Wolves reached their only playoff appearance in that final season but lost their opener by eight points to Nebraska. Chris Dixon was the team's head coach. Prior to that, Dixon was an all-league quarterback for the Billings Outlaws who had an 11-year run with three league championships in 2006, 2009 and 2010. The Outlaws ceased operations after the 2010 season following a tornado that ripped the roof off of then Rimrock Auto Arena.