The Iowa Barnstormers are a professional indoor football team based out of Des Moines, Iowa. They currently play as members of the Indoor Football League (IFL) and play all their home games at Wells Fargo Arena in Iowa. The arena has famously become known as “The Well” by fans and locals.
This team is the latest of a series of teams called the Iowa Barnstormers who have played in different indoor football leagues since 1995. The first team, who played for the AFL, played in Des Moines’ Veterans Memorial Auditorium from 1995 to 2001. They later relocated to Uniondale, New York, where they were known as the New York Dragons.
Des Moines was later awarded a franchise in the developmental AF2 league in 2001 that carried on the Barnstormers name and legacy. But the team was suspended after the end of the season.
Later, in 2008, a new Barnstormers team began play in the AF2, and they were based in the new Wells Fargo Arena. This team then joined the new AFL in 2010 after the league reorganization. But then, in 2015, the team left the AFL to join the IFL.
And speaking of the IFL, it was formed as a merger between the Intense Football League and United Indoor Football. It currently has one of the largest number of currently active teams among indoor football leagues across the world. And it has operated continuously under teh same name and structure longer than any other indoor football league. And with the closure of the AFL in 2019, it is the oldest active professional indoor league in North America.
IFL players are notable for earning anywhere from $250-$500 per game played, with a $25 bonus given to players on the winning team each week. The teams provide housing for its players during the season. And the league features 14 teams divided into two conferences, with each team playing 16 games over 19 weeks.
In this short and storied career, The Iowa Barnstormers has managed to score several big seasons. Including two conference championships and a league championship. This tells fans that, while young, the Barnstormers are here to play the toughest Indoor Football around. And fans can’t wait to see what happens next to this squad.
About Wells Fargo Arena
Wells Fargo Arena is a multi-purpose arena venue located in Des Moines, Iowa. It’s part of the Iowa EVents Center and was opened on July 12, 2005 at an estimated cost of around $117 million. It was named for its official sponsor, Wells Fargo and was built to replace the aging Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center as the city’s primary sporting events and concert venue.
The arena holds enough room for several thousand guests. Here’s a brief list of the arrangements and capacity limits.
- 15,181 – Hockey and Arena football
- 16,110 – Basketball
- 16,980 – Concerts
Besides being an awesome arena venue, it also features The Fort Restaurant, which serves delicious food and provides a gorgeous view of the Des Moines River.and the Iowa State Capitol. The restaurant opened officially on October 6, 2005, coinciding with the Iowa Stars’ inaugural home game.
Tony Hawk’s Boom-Boom Huck Jam was the first event held at the arena on July 1. While the first concert featured Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with The Black Crowes on July 18.
Besides the Iowa Barnstormers, the arena is also home to the Iowa Wolves of the NBA G League. It’s also home to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League.
But beyond these events, it also served as host for the 1st and 2nd round games for the 2008 NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Tournament and served as the regional site 2012 tournament. Then in 2013, it hosted the NCAA Wrestling Team Championship.
It was the host for the first and second Round games for the 2008 NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Tournament and served as a regional site 2012 tournament. In 2013, it hosted the NCAA Wrestling Team Championship. It has also hosted several state high school wrestling and basketball tournaments since 2006 as well as the Big Four Classic since 2012.
Over the course of its existence, the Iowa Barnstormers are a team that has seen a lot of changes. The original team had moved and changed its name early in its career, and the city was awarded a new franchise some time later to make up hte loss. The subsequent BArnstormers carried on the name and legacy of the original team, first for the AFL and then later it moved on to join the IFL.
In its short history, the team has earned 10 playoff postseason runs and have won conference and league championships 3 times collectively. This is in addition to a stunning 5 division championship seasons.
Although the team has only been around since 1995, they have had a long and storied history already. They have several winning seasons under their belt including a few strong postseason runs. And here is a short list of their achievements and the seasons where they were attained.
- League championships 2018
- Conference championships 1996, 1997
- Division championships 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2009
- Playoff appearances 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2009, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021
It’s clear that this is a powerful team that will play many amazing seasons to come