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Birmingham Outlawz logo Bill Harris Arena
Shelby County Exhibition Center

Team and League History


November 12, 2013
     X-League logo
   
At a press conference following the weekly Birmingham City Council meeting, the X-League announces that Birmingham will be the sixth team in the league's first season, set to start in March 2014.

There will be 10 teams in the new league but Birmingham is only the sixth that has secured a home game venue. Plans are for the other four teams to play only away games.

X-League commissioner Michael Mink and local franchise owner Lee Ellison are planning to bring a new brand of indoor football to the area and pledge that they would do so with no help from the city.

"The city is not going to financially help us at all. I did not ask for any money. I do not need any money from the city. We're going to totally fund this off of my current business that I've owned since I was 20 years old. We're also going to fund it off of sponsorships and marketing packages that we sell. We will not ask the city for a dime. All we asked was for the venue and also the media exposure that they can help us with," Ellison said.

The team will be known as the Alabama Outlawz and will play their home games in Bill Harris Arena, which began $3 million in improvements about a month ago. The arena is part of the Birmingham CrossPlex facility located on the old state fairgrounds.

     Photograph
  X-League commissioner Michael Mink and
Outlaws owner/head coach Lee Ellison
   
"This is a great day for the city of Birmingham. This is what we envisioned when we made the improvements and it's also in line with the mayor's vision as far as making Alabama a sports destination," said Kevin Moore, director of Birmingham CrossPlex and Bill Harris Arena.

Ellison, who will also be the team's head coach, said he is establishing a three year contract with the city for the use of the arena, with an option for two additional three year contracts.

Tickets prices are planned to be $15 for lower level seats and $10 for upper level seats.

Mink has a history with the city. He graduated from UAB in 1988 and is a former Blazer baseball player. "I would like to welcome you to a new era of indoor football. The league will feature a game unlike any seen before in football. Regardless of the playing surface, it is the perfect fusion of an outdoor playing style (that) will allow even novice fans the ability to identify with our game easier. However, our foremost concern will be the consistent production of a quality product for our fans to enjoy."

January 5, 2014
The Outlawz announce a change to their primary logo. The previous logo featured a skill wearing a football helmet with a spike on the top. The new logo is a skull wearing a cowboy hat and holding dual pistols. Team colors now look to be neon lime green and black.

March 2014
 
2014
X-League
   Alabama Outlawz 
   Florida Marine Raiders    
   Georgia Rampage
   Pennsylvania Steam
   St. Louis Attack
  xxx   xxx   xxx   xxx  
                 
Alabama Outlawz logo   Florida Marine Raiders logo   Georgia Rampage logo   Pennsylvania Steam logo   St. Louis Attack logo
Alabama Outlawz    Florida Marine Raiders   Georgia Rampage   Pennsylvania Steam   St. Louis Attack
                 
April 9, 2014
The X-League announces that the Pennsylvania Steam has been sold to a group in Savannah, GA. The new Savannah Steam will only play the remainder of their away games and will be based in Savannah next year.

“It’s great to be able to add another team in the South for 2015 and it will help the X-League with its geographic footprint. The Reading Market and Ownership group couldn’t recover from the Major Indoor Soccer League's Pennsylvania Roar season in order to continue in 2014. It’s very unfortunate, but it is best to make the responsible decision to understand the problem and deal with it now,” Mink said.

May 23, 2014
The Alabama Outlawz cancel their final home game of the regular season. Ellison claims the reason is due to a "scheduling conflict" with a local high school's graduation that is to be held at the arena.

The league announcement states that the game has been considered a 7-7 draw. The X-League's reasoning was that with both teams (Alabama and Georgia) eliminated from the X-Bowl, the league deemed it financially responsible to consider the game a draw and use the operation cost to build for the 2015 season.

“With both teams looking forward to a strong 2015 season this decision only made sense for the Rampage, Outlawz, and X-League,” stated X-League president Kacee Smith.

However, there are rumors that the team, and league, are suffering financial hardships.

Ellison claims all season ticket holders will receive a refund for the final home game.

April 2015
 
2015
X-League
   Alabama Outlawz
   Bloomington Edge
   Cape Fear Heroes
   Corpus Christi Fury
   Florida Marine Raiders    
   Florida Tarpons
   Georgia Rampage
   Marion Blue Racers
   Rio Grande Valley Sol
   St. Louis Attack
  xxx   xxx   xxx   xxx  
                 
Alabama Outlawz logo   Bloomington Edge logo   Cape Fear Heroes logo   Corpus Christi Fury logo   Florida Marine Raiders logo
Alabama Outlawz   Bloomington Edge   Cape Fear Heroes   Corpus Christi Fury   Florida Marine Raiders
                 
Florida Tarpons logo   Georgia Rampage logo   Marion Blue Racers logo   Rio Grande Valley Sol logo   St. Louis Attack logo
Florida Tarpons   Georgia Rampage   Marion Blue Racers   Rio Grande Valley Sol   St. Louis Attack
                 
June 5, 2015
Earlier this week, X-League clubs decided via conference call to ask the Rio Grande Valley Sol to play the Florida Tarpons in X-Bowl II.

However, days later the Sol ownership decide they will not play due to "issues obtaining transportation for the trip" to Estero, Florida.

Now, the X-League has decided that the Florida Marine Raiders will play the Tarpons in X-Bowl II.

September 18, 2015
     North American Indoor Football League logo
   
The X-League announces it is merging with the North American Indoor Football League.

The decision was made by Michael Mink, X-League commissioner, and Kacee Smith, X-League president.

"With so many leagues forming, it is imperative that we join together to be successful. You will never see success with everyone going in separate directions, so it makes sense to partner with the NAIF. This merger will create regional play which will help team owners save money in their budgets. Football is also ready to expand abroad. I believe with this joint venture, we will find international success which isn't just important to the teams playing but the fans that watch. We want to imprint ourselves as successful beyond the United States by thinking globally," Mink said.

The NAIF is a proposed indoor football league that has plans to begin play in 2016.

"The NAIF is pleased to partner with Michael Mink, Kacee Smith, and the X-League. This merger will no doubt make the start of our season even more exciting and put a deep footprint in indoor football," said NAIF co-owner, Kory White.

     American Indoor Football logo
   
Mink and Smith will both take on roles with the NAIF. Smith will become co-president with Richard Beam and Mink will join as co-chairmen.

"Working with Kacee Smith has been nothing but a blessing. Now, we both are excited to play a role in the NAIF. We anticipate a remarkable season with the new people we get to work with," Mink said.

September 29, 2015
The X-League announces that it has decided not to merge with the North American Indoor Football League.

No reason is given, other than to say both leagues mutually agreed to move forward without merging.

October 1, 2015
In an extremely short press release, the X-League announces it has ceased operations and released its member teams to the American Indoor Football league.

No further explanation was given.

The local franchise goes dormant.

??? 2016
     Arena Pro Football
   
A new indoor football league named the National Arena Football League is announced.

The NAFL is set to being in 2017 and the first three teams would be the Birmingham Outlawz, the Myrtle Beach Sharks, and the Savannah Coastal Outlaws.

September ??, 2016
The National Arena Football League changes its name to Arena Pro Football.

The league places an expansion team named the Richmond Roughriders in Virginia.

Also, the league adds the Florida Tarpons and River City Raiders from the recently defunct American Indoor Football league.

??? ???
The APF forms a loose agreement with the United States Indoor Football, a summer league that plays all its games in Savannah, Georgia, and is operated by the Coastal Outlaws (the organization that also runs the Savannah Coastal Outlaws).

November 3, 2016
The APF announces an inter-league play agreement with the Elite Indoor Football Conference, the league formed by the Central Florida Jaguars after the dissolving of the AIF.

November 14, 2016
The APF forms an alliance with the Can-Am Indoor Football League where the playoff champions of each league would meet for an inter-league championship game.

January 2017
     Photograph
  (left to right): Head coach Darnell Robinson, Columbiana mayor Stancil
Handley, and Birmingham Outlawz owner David Warren
   
Team officials announce they will play all home games in the city of Columbiana.

Also, the team is now named the Birmingham Outlawz.

The Outlawz could not secure a lease of the Bill Harris Arena, their former home, and plan now to play home games in Columbiana's Shelby County Exhibition Center. 

Columbiana mayor Stancil Handley is excited about the possibilities. “I never in my wildest dreams thought the city of Columbiana would have a professional football team. We are looking forward to this being the Outlawz home. We are all in on this and the city is very excited.”

“We are excited to be here in Columbiana and represent the city of Columbiana,” said team owner David Warren.

The Outlawz head coach will be Darnell Robinson, who was previously the defensive coordinator of the Alabama Outlawz. Robinson played football at Alabama State University and has more than 10 years of coaching and playing experience. “It’s with great honor that I receive this position as head football coach for the Alabama Outlawz. I believe in working hard and the results will follow. I will set the bar and my staff will set the bar for future Outlawz, we want to work hard to bring a championship here to Alabama.”

The Outlaws will begin play with four straight road games and then have four home games in a row to finish the season. Playoffs begin on June 3rd.

March 2017
 
2017
Arena Pro Football
   Birmingham Outlawz 
   Florida Tarpons
   Myrtle Beach Sharks
   Richmond Roughriders
   River City Raiders
   Savannah Coastal Outlaws    
  xxx   xxx   xxx   xxx  
                 
Birmingham Outlawz logo   Florida Tarpons logo   Myrtle Beach Sharks logo   Richmond Roughriders logo   River City Raiders logo
Birmingham Outlawz    Florida Tarpons   Myrtle Beach Sharks   Richmond Roughriders   River City Raiders
                 
Savannah Coastal Outlaws logo                
Savannah Coastal Outlaws                
                 
April 15, 2017
The Outlawz cancel their first home game due to the lack of padding on the sideline dasher boards. The pads are a league requirement for player safety.

April 22, 2017
The league announces that due to a "mechanical problem" within the Outlawz' home arena, tonight's game against the St. Louis Raiders has been postponed. Reports are that the problem has been repaired and the game was rescheduled for May 6th.

April 28, 2017
In a third attempt at hosting their first home game of the season, this time against the Supreme Indoor Football league's Cape Fear Heroes, the Outlawz venue is still not ready.

The league is concerned about specific logistical issues related to field setup that have not yet been resolved by Outlawz management. The league had given the Outlawz a deadline to complete the work. That deadline, as well as additional extensions, has passed.

The game was to be rescheduled but Cape Fear has no open dates available, which forced the league to cancel the game and award a forfeit victory to the Heroes.

Epilogue
     American Arena League logo
   
Just days later, after three away games and no victories, the Outlawz cancel the remainder of the season, in which all were scheduled to be home games.

Later during the APF's first season, the Vermont Bucks announced on April 14, 2017, that the Arena Pro Football league and the Can-Am Indoor Football League would merge to create the American Arena League, which would then begin play in 2018.

Unfortunately, the Outlawz franchise would not be a part of the AAL or any other league.

No official announcement was ever made stating why the Outlawz folded. With the no pads being purchased for the dasher boards, financial shortages can be reasonably assumed.
 
 
 
Contact Gene Crowley
Last update: October 11, 2018