Apr. 2—ENID, Okla. — The Oklahoma Flying Aces announced on Thursday that they'll be inactive for the 2021 season according to a press release by the Champions Indoor Football League.
The CIF release said the Flying Aces won't be playing this season due to "unforeseen workman's compensation insurance issues." The CIF simultaneously announced the addition of the Dodge City Law who will be immediately eligible to play the 2021 season and will inherit the Flying Aces roster.
"It had been indicated that we were to see an adjustment to our insurance rates for the 2021 season," Flying Aces head coach and managing partner Richard Davis said in a statement. "Unfortunately with all the uncertainty surrounding this season even occurring in this crazy year, we were not notified of the new rates until this past week. When notified, it was substantially more than we had been projected."
In a Facebook post from the Oklahoma Flying Aces, the team's management wrote that the organization's workman's compensation premium "unexpectedly jumped" from $5,000 in their first year to "more than $150,000" this year.
The team said that they plan to appeal the premium, a process they said could take several months to resolve.
Director of League Operations Todd Walkenhorst said that workers compensation insurance has been a "major obstacle" for CIF teams for several years and that Oklahoma "found themselves in a business position that was unsustainable for 2021."
"We were in a position where some things did just happen to fall into place and we were able to salvage a bad situation," Walkenhorst said in the statement.
Davis said that while the team's issues are not fixable for the 2021 season, the team hopes to return in 2022.
"We have found a great niche in the Enid area," Davis said, "and intend to put the Flying Aces back on the field in 2022 when we are able to normalize operating costs."
In the team's Facebook post, Flying Aces management said that season ticket holders and corporate sponsors will be refunded in full, as will any outstanding costs to vendors.
"We ask that everyone impacted financially to reach out to us via email (email@example.com) so we can interact with you personally," the post said. "We would also like to thank the city of Enid, specifically Kevin Boryczki and staff at the Stride Bank Arena, for all their help, and we also thank our awesome fans for your incredible support."
Masri is sports editor for the Enid News & Eagle.
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