MANKATO — The Indoor Football League team that was set to call the Verizon Wireless Center home this spring has folded before ever playing a game.
Less than a month before the start of the IFL season, the Minnesota Havok franchise was terminated, the league commissioner Michael Allshouse said in a written statement released late Friday afternoon, for "failing to reach minimum IFL operational standards."
IFL teams play 16 regular-season games, and the Havok was scheduled to play the first of eight home games in the Mankato arena on March 26.
Rumors of the team's demise began to leak out on Friday morning. The Havok’s website, Twitter account and Facebook page were all shuttered, and the team’s games were removed from the league schedule on the IFL website.
One potential player, quarterback Cory Murphy, tweeted that he drove 2,000 to Mankato and "uprooted his family" only “to find out that the team is disbanded.”
Messages left with Allshouse and a call to the Havok's listed Mankato number were not returned.
"We greatly value the tremendous fans of the IFL and refuse to provide anything less than the highest professional product, both on and off the field, in the industry," Allshouse said in the statement.
The formation of Havok was announced in September during an event featuring owners Stan and Tiffany Legg, Allshouse, head coach Jose Jefferson and former Minnesota State player Brian Keys, the team’s first rostered player.
On Dec. 28, the team announced that it had dismissed Jefferson and hired Shawn Anderson as head coach.
Without the Havok, the IFL now has 10 franchises. An IFL team in Bemidji, the Axemen played two seasons before folding in November.