Kansas Bandits bring pro indoor soccer to Dodge City as newest MASL 2 member
The Kansas Bandits are the newest members of the Major Arena Soccer League 2. The Bandits are the first of three new teams that an investment group is expected to launch in the Midwest with a focus on expanding pro indoor soccer’s footprint in the Heartland region.
The Bandits will play in Dodge City’s, municipally-owned 3,000 seat, United Wireless Arena which is part of the Boot Hill Casino and Resort Conference Center which opened in 2011. The arena is already home to the Champions Indoor Football league’s Southwest Kansas Storm, which will be part of the Dodge City partnership consortium.
“This is a perfect city, facility and ownership situation for the Major Arena Soccer League 2. It’s exactly the blueprint for how we want to professionally grow M2 and the sport as a whole,” M2 league Commissioner Chris Economides said. “We know that the Storm have a great operation and have had recent success with community support in Southwest Kansas. Having their established relationships, synergy and personnel part of the Bandits will allow the new team to hit the ground running.”
The Bandits will take the field for the 2022-23 campaign. Blake Shumaker, managing partner of the Major Arena Soccer League 2’s Wichita Wings has been central in helping to organize the new investment group, indicated that plans to add two additional teams to their portfolio for the 2023-24 season have already begun.
“The memberships purchased by this new group will all be placed in the Midwest region where we are actively working with cities in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Although the discovery and placement process will take significant time, we plan to have these decisions announced in the coming months," Shumaker noted.
Shumaker also indicated that the group was pleased to see the direction M2 is headed.
"We are excited to use our experience gained with the Wichita Wings to help as a liaison for a great group of community driven business people. The additional two locations will still need to check a lot of boxes, which means they first need to meet the league minimum arena standards. Teams who didn't meet those professional operating standards in the past have since moved on and joined leagues who cannot offer the caliber of the play, ownership nor our league’s criteria.,” Shumaker added.
“With the entire MASL pyramid united with raised level of professional operating standards, this investment group can place teams in markets that have both the necessary support from their city officials and benefit from a geographic footprint that is conducive for travel. The M2 league is very excited and optimistic about the rivalry opportunities within the current conference layout and the overall growth of professional indoor soccer in the Heartland.”
The Major Arena Soccer League will kick off its season in December. The San Diego Sockers are the defending champions in both M1 and M2 respectively. The M2 league and its teams will play a 12-game conference schedule leading to a championship weekend in the spring of 2023. The MASL has recently revamped the M2 league requiring all members to meet minimum standards of playing in professional venues. The league has been focused on providing the highest level of professionalism and opportunity and have refocused the league to only include teams and owners that can meet that level. Each of the three new teams are at valuation of $125,000 per team, showing the investment and commitment of the ownership and into the league.
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