SFL Communications

October 9, 2019

The Simulation Football League today announced multiple team lineup changes for the Winter 2020 season. The SFL owners have approved the sale of the Oklahoma City Renegades to current Houston Co-Owner Eddie Gauge, will not extend a new League Affiliation Agreement to the San Francisco Sharks, will play with 20 teams and eliminate bye weeks in the Winter 2020 season and will expand by two teams for the Summer 2020 season, bringing the league to a new high of 22 franchises.

“With our new tremendous television partner Eleven Sports, the growing interest in our competitive esport and interactive league and with unprecedented momentum heading into next season, we have taken the steps to further bolster our organization,” said Commissioner Cameron Irvine. “I thank the owners, as always, for contributing to the process and thank league staff for their tireless effort all season long. We are tremendously excited for the future.”

Roster sizes against the salary cap will expand in the off-season. The number in which rosters will expand will be determined after the season is over and owner meetings have concluded.

Oklahoma City sold

The Oklahoma City Renegades, an original founding franchise has sold to current Houston Co-Owner Eddie Gauge. Gauge intends to move the team to Arizona and the branding project is ongoing. While the sale has been approved, Gauge will remain as the Co-Owner of Houston and will not lead the Oklahoma City locker room until the Hyenas complete their 13th season. Gauge, like all other team owners, can speak to free agents in regards to his relocated franchise during the transition, which will begin play in January 2020.

“It is with mixed emotions that I report that my days as a Houston Hyena are coming to an end,” Gauge said, as part of his statements made to Houston players Wednesday morning. “While I am both nervous and excited about this newfound opportunity, I am also saddened by the fact that for four seasons, I called Houston home, and this is by no means an easy atmosphere to walk away from.”

Irvine led OKC for all of the SFL’s 13 seasons, compiling a 53-88 record with three playoff appearances. The Renegades made both the Season 1 and Season 2 Championship games under Irvine’s direction. He was a Hall-of-Fame finalist in 2019, nominated for his steady commitment to the league through all of its growth over the last six-plus years.

“After two great seasons and 11 tormenting and painful seasons, I am selling the OKC Renegades,” Irvine said to his players Wednesday morning. “The Renegades are moving to Arizona. (My player), Tybeerious Bovine, will make the move with them as a player. I appreciate all the memories and hard fought battles we had as Renegades, but that has come to an end. I wish you all well and I have spoken highly of all of you to our new owner. Always progress your players. Special thanks goes out to Deacon Nickens, Brady Clarke, Day Drewery and Jon Gregory. You guys were the leaders of this team and I wish you happy trails on the gridiron.”

League to expand for first time since Season 11

The SFL will expand by two teams in the Summer of 2020, bringing the league to a total of 22 teams, a record high. It will be the first expansion since three teams were added in Season 11 – the Baltimore Vultures, the New Orleans Pharaohs and the Las Vegas Fury. Denver also joined that season, becoming the first ownership group to purchase a SFL franchise (San Antonio).
“We get calls every day about expansion and have always said to our community that we will expand when we are ready and have the means to do so,” Irvine said. “With the steps we are taking every day to become the premier interactive fantasy, football and esports league we are confident that we will be ready for growth in the spring heading into the summer. I am very excited for all interested parties and their efforts to secure what is becoming an increasingly valuable SFL franchise.”
Expansion fees for Summer 2020 will be $100, to be paid at the time of ownership group approval. Applicants can begin submitting applications March 29, 2020. The deadline to apply will be April 4, 2020. Deadline dates are subject to change. Under league guidelines, the league governing body on expansion i.e. all team ownership groups, approve the sale of expansion candidates. Candidates are judged on SFL experience on and off the field, involvement in the community and with league operations and more.

San Francisco Sharks folded

The SFL will not extend a League Affiliation Agreement to the Sharks franchise for the Winter 2020 season and beyond and has elected to go with an even 20 teams in the next campaign. The folding comes after four seasons for the franchise and the decision reflects the franchises performance since its inception.
“We thank the leadership of San Francisco for their efforts to build an organization they and the league can be proud of,” said Commissioner Cameron Irvine. “After four seasons and the league’s need to restructure to accommodate the growing audience and opportunities, along with another raising of the bar for our member teams, the league felt this was the right time to move on from the organization’s affiliation. We wish them all the best in future endeavors and hope its front office and coaching staff, along with their players find other more fruitful opportunities in the months ahead.”
In an effort to correct inaccurate statements made by team leadership following the termination, the below is a summary of the decision:
  • Failure to engage players and lead them through the progression system with accuracy and dedication
  • Branding violations and legal ramifications of those decisions
  • Failure to address players in the locker room setting, ineffectively building team camaraderie and unity
  • Disengaged in league and ownership conversation and discussion with a lack of interest in forwarding the league or contributing in any way outside of the team
  • Failure to deliver on league related initiatives after previously committing

All former San Francisco players are free agents and are free to pursue opportunities within the league on and off the field.