The indoor soccer league returns to Columbus under new ownership and names

COLUMBUS, Georgia (WRBL) — Indoor soccer returns to Columbus. The local sport is making a comeback following the recent rise and fall of the city’s premier National Indoor Soccer League (NISL) team, Columbus Rapids. The new Columbus team is called Foundry FC under new ownership.

The team’s name and ownership under the NISL was announced at an informal press conference at 3 p.m. on September 6 at the Columbus Civic Center.

“Columbus has always been a great sports city. I’ve always loved it,” NISL Commissioner Gary Tufford told conference attendees. He continued, “We just want to restart what we had here last year.”

The Rapids’ two-year run ended when the NISL bought the team of Joshua Blair, Jason Gibson and Mike Jones.

“You see, it’s not a perfect world. Sometimes things go wrong,” Tufford said. He acknowledged that just before the start of the season last year, the league found out the team’s previous owners couldn’t afford to continue.

The NISL commissioner continued, “Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to keep a team in the game and anyone who has ever been involved in any type of league operation understands that.”

Gibson, previously the Columbus Lions head coach, resigned from that position in August 2022. Jones left his position as chief design officer for AFLAC in the summer of 2022 and is currently a freelance designer. Blair remains the owner and managing partner of the Columbus Lions.

Going forward, Tufford said the main goal is to get people to come to the games, have fun and fall in love with the sport. The NISL has made several gameplay adjustments for the upcoming season to allow for faster games and double headers with men’s and women’s events on every gameplay occasion.

Tufford believes the team will fare better this time under a “stronger ownership group” and with a better understanding of the local market.

The NISL hopes to start its season next January. There will be two eight-team divisions, the last of which will be announced in the coming weeks. An official competition schedule is expected to be released in October, according to Tufford.

The teams are currently based in Columbus; Albany, Georgia; Memphis, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; Tampa, Fla. and Orlando, Fla.

The NISL commissioner hopes the league’s support in Columbus will give local children another opportunity to enjoy football. Ideally, it will have the same success as indoor soccer as the Lions’ compared to traditional soccer formats, he said.

In the coming weeks and months, the league plans to launch a marketing campaign to promote the Foundry FC name to the community.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to create a brand. “It’s even harder to do a rebrand,” Tufford said, “and you have to get that name and logo out there so that people understand and… you know, have an opportunity and figure out, ‘Hey, that’s it something I want to do.’ ”

According to Tufford, the strategy for ensuring the team’s longevity is “pretty simple.”

He said: “If we put people on the pitches, the team stays.”

Laura Coffey

Laura Coffey is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Laura Coffey joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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