Oklahoma scene: Last arena football team leaves the state

Oklahoma‘s participation in the “Indoor War” has come to an end. Ownership of the Tulsa Talons, one of arena football’s more successful franchises, announced the team will move to San Antonio, beginning with the 2012 season. The team will be called the San Antonio Talons.

Talons managing partner Paul Ross told The Tulsa World that low season ticket sales and joining the reorganized Arena Football League two years ago made it too costly to operate. Ross said the Talons’ attendance dropped more than 1,100 in 2011. An increase in league expenses came close to $250,000.

“It was a tough business decision because our hearts are in Tulsa,” Ross told The World. “But in the end, it came down to not enough ticket sales. It’s a sad day for all of us. We’ve been with this thing a long time.”

Ross partnered with Tulsa businessman Henry Primeaux in buying the franchise in 2004. The Talons drew well in the stands and succeeded on the field with several players who were former local college standouts.

The Tulsa Talons’ death follows that of Oklahoma City-based franchises: the Wranglers of the AFL (2000-2001); the Yard Dawgz of af2 and the reorganized AFL (2004-2010); and the Bricktown Brawlers (2011), who filed for bankruptcy after one season in the Indoor Football League. Oklahoma City also had an af2 franchise that never played a game. The Bullfrogs were expected to play the 2000 season in af2 before another ownership group brought in the higher-level Wranglers.

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