The San Diego Strike Force are an indoor professional football team based in San Diego, California. They are members of the Indoor Football League (IFL) since 2019 and currently play out of Pechanga Arena in San Diego’s Midway district. They are the second pro football team in San Diego that started play in Spring 2019, right after the San Diego Fleet of the Alliance of American Football.They are also the third indoor team to play in the city after the San Diego Riptide and the San Diego Shockwave.
After going dormant in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team is ready to get back in there and take the league by storm.
The team was initially announced as a 2019 IFL expansion team in November 2018. The team’s colors were announced as black, navy blue, and silver, and their initial staff was announced on December 17, 2018. The team would be led by Brian Cox, a former sports agent and quarterback who took on the role of general manager, while Burt Grossman, former Chargers defensive end, was chosen as head coach.
During its initial season, the team struggled. And some even compared the team’s efforts to “Southwestern College playing against Clemson”. In fact, during their season opening against the Quad City Steamwheelers, the team allowed 43 points in the first half and lost 67-49. Grossman attributed the defeat to a lack of headsets for coaches and he eventually fired his defensive coordinator and four players on the offense as well as the offensive coordinator. Grossman noted that the fired staff were on the staff before he arrived.
They ended the season with a 1-13 record, with their sole win being against the River Kings.
Following the season, the team announced a minor rebrand with new uniforms, logos, and colors that better represented their home city. And it seemed to have worked as the team had a strong 50-36 win over the Bismarck Bucks which may have been the start of a strong season.
Unfortunately, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the 2020 season being canceled. And the team withdrew from the 2021 season due to pandemic restrictions at the time.
During the hiatus, Euchre left the team and was replaced by Geno Gerbo as Interim general manager. Then Vivian Lin was announced as the team president which also made her the first Asian American woman to be a president of a professional football team.
About Pechanga Arena
Pechanga Arena, originally known as the San Diego Sports Arena, is an indoor arena built in 1966 and located in San Diego’s Mindway district. The arena is multipurpose and can fit anywhere from 12,000 – 16,100 spectators depending on the needs of the visiting event. And this includes indoor football, ice hockey, circuses, mixed martial arts, and more.
Currently the venue is home to four professional sports teams; the San Diego Seals of the National Lacrosse League (NLL), San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League (AHL), San Diego Sockers of the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) 2013 and the San Diego Strike Force of the Indoor Football League (IFL). Previously the arena had been home to several San Diego-based teams in several sports. And perhaps because of this legacy, the arena has been named #3 on U-T Ssan Diego’s list of the 50 most notable locations in San Diego Sports History.
Location and access
The arena is located slightly southwest of the Interchange of Interstate 5 and Interstate 8. It can be easily accessed by driving and is only about a mile away from the nearby Old Town Transit Center.
The original arena built in 1966 was built by Robert Breltbard, a San Diego football hero who played for Hoover High School and San Diego State. The arena was built for a reported $6.4 million and seated 13,000 for hockey or 13,700 for basketball.
The arena first opened to the public on November 17, 1966 and had over 11,000 pro hockey fans who came out to see the San Diego Gulls (who were then members of the Western Hockey League) win their season opener 4-1 against the Seattle Totems.
Football Team Summary
The San Diego Strike Force are still a relatively new team, especially given that it has only played one full season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But one thing’s for certain is that they are ready to play the best football of their lives. New management staff and an updated roster full of football hopefuls and rising talents means that they have surprises in store.
But it’s anyone’s guess where they will end up in the current season’s rankings. But one thing is for sure. If you want to catch this incredible team, then you have to come out and watch. So make sure you don’t miss out!