Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) The Bandits, Marshfield’s new semi-professional football team, has officially joined a league.
Though it initially planned to join the Northern Lights Football League (NLFL), team organizers have gone a different route and are joining the Champions Amateur Football League (CAFL), which just merged with the new Minnesota Wisconsin Football League (MWFA) for what will likely be a 12-team league.
“The competition in this new league is a little better,” said Scott Van Handel, a founder of the Bandits. “We’ll be playing teams from Eau Claire, La Crosse, Hastings, Minnesota, the Twin Cities area, Duluth, and St. Cloud, Minnesota.”
The Bandits offseason will kick off on Saturday with an open combine event from 3-6 p.m. at Kennedy Park in Schofield. Signing day will take place in November and then practices will commence for the 2020 season at the same park. Games begin in April with league games starting the first weekend in May.
So far 82 players have expressed interest, an above-average number for the time of year. While all can participate on the team, only 53 can play on game days. The next steps for the new team will be to find a trainer, officials, and a game day announcer. Players must also learn a new system in a short period.
“As far as funding goes, attendance and merchandise sales are critical for success,” said Van Handel. “It cost $800 a game to rent the field and about $500 to hire a officiating staff per game.”
As a charity team, any proceeds will benefit the Children’s Miracle Network in Marshfield. The Bandits are still looking for game day sponsors for five or six home games, something that would help the team give back more to its cause.
“If we were to average just over 300 people per game, that would generate approximately $11,000 for the Children’s Hospital,” Van Handel said.
Visit MarshfieldBandits.com to follow the team or visit its Facebook page, Marshfield Bandits Limited.