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SFL Communications

July 7, 2020

The Simulation Football League’s Las Vegas Fury have added Tony Benefield as a minority owner on the squad. Jon Bond retains majority ownership.

Benefield, otherwise known as Merrick Itera on the field, has been a part of the team since its inception. Along with Majority Owner and Head Coach Jon Bond, General Manager Slinn Shady and quarterback Thomas Ramen – who works with the team in multiple departments off the field – the Fury are poised to take the next step in their franchise’s history.

“Tony has multiple reasons for becoming part of the SFL ownership family and as a seasoned vet who entered the league at the same time as I did,” Bond said. “He has been on this journey as my right-hand man all of this time. He has been my general manager, sounding board, and friend – as such we have discussed it is time he be properly recognized where he belongs in the Las Vegas Fury as an owner as we continue to work on making the franchise the best it can be.”

The Fury are entering their 5th Anniversary season since being named an expansion team in Season 11, the Summer of 2018. Some individuals go after joint or minority ownership in the hopes that one day they can one day own a team of their own. Benefield has made it clear: he is a part of Fury culture and has zero plans of pursuing his own team, but only wants to step into a bigger role with Las Vegas with the goal to strengthen the franchise.

“I feel honored that my brother-in-arms, Jon Bond, is willing to trust me with a percentage of the responsibility inherent with franchise ownership,” Benefield said. “I can still remember the day he showed me his newly created strong safety, a rookie named Max Jackson that had just been signed by the San Francisco Sharks and he told me there were still openings in the secondary. As a member of the Las Vegas Fury, from the inaugural roster through to our current upcoming season, I can’t imagine being a part of any other SFL organization. I’ve been involved from day one wherever Jon needed me, but my first official position as the General Manager of the Fury helped develop not only my interest in the team but in the league itself. Making the decision to move into the position of minority-stake owner at this time is done out of my understanding of the myriad responsibilities that the owners of each team bear, and the knowledge that the best way for me to continue to support this squad is to help Jon by standing at his right hand and shouldering as much of the burden as necessary to ensure our franchise continues to rise.”
The SFL’s 15th season begins Friday July 17 and the Las Vegas Fury season – complete with new uniforms – starts Monday July 20 at arch rival Denver in another installment of ‘Vice Wars’. The Fury open their home schedule in Week 2 vs. Carolina. Las Vegas joins Baltimore, Carolina, Fort Worth, Lone Star, Mexico City and St. Louis as franchises who are not run by a sole owner and becomes the second franchise to include an owner with a minority-stake.
“Running a SFL team just doesn’t take one person anymore,” said Commissioner Cameron Irvine. “I applaud Las Vegas for taking the necessary steps to improve its infrastructure and reward Tony for his years of dedication to the franchise. Ownership is a serious thing and Benefield’s commitment to the organization gives the Fury franchise a big boost heading into the league’s 15th Anniversary Season.”
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