Columbus Lions Announce Return to National Arena League for 2025 Season

Columbus, GA – The Columbus Lions are excited to announce our return to the National Arena League (NAL) for the 2025 season following our undefeated championship run in the American Indoor Football (AIF) league. This move, alongside the Corpus Christi Tritons and the Harrisburg Stampede, marks a significant milestone for our team and the NAL, which will now boast the largest field of teams in its history with nine competing franchises.

Originally joining the NAL in 2017, the Columbus Lions have a rich history of competitive play and are thrilled to be rejoining this prestigious league. Our 2024 season in the AIF was marked by an undefeated streak, culminating in a championship victory, and we are eager to bring this momentum into the NAL.

We join a robust lineup of returning NAL teams, including the defending champions Omaha Beef, Sioux City Bandits, Carolina Cobras, Colorado Spartans, and Idaho Horsemen. Additionally, the Wheeling Miners, another undefeated team and recent AAL2 champions, will also be part of the expanded NAL roster for 2025.

NAL Commissioner Todd Walkenhorst expressed his enthusiasm about the league's expansion, stating, “We are happy to add these teams to the National Arena League, as these teams represent some great markets, fan bases, ownerships, coaches, and players. It’s also a great testament to the job Brandon Ikard did this season with the AIF. Putting all of our teams together will undoubtedly create a stronger league for all of us in 2025 and beyond.”

Brandon Ikard, who played a pivotal role in the AIF's success, will join the NAL Board of Directors as Executive Director. Ikard's extensive experience will be instrumental in the league's continued growth and success. “Once our discussions began in partnership with our leagues, it was obvious that we shared a lot of the same goals,” Ikard said. “We have a lot of great teams and more importantly, great people involved and this will allow us to continue to provide a quality, professional product to our players and fans.”

The Columbus Lions are committed to delivering exciting, high-quality football to our fans and community. As we prepare for the 2025 season, we look forward to competing across nine states and three time zones, contributing to the NAL's expanding reach and influence.

Read the NAL's Announcement