PARK CITY — Indoor soccer will return to Hartman Arena after all with a new team in a different league.
The second incarnation of the Wichita Wings folded after just two seasons of play in the Major Indoor Soccer League.
The new team will play in the Professional Arena Soccer League, a five-year old league with 18 teams. According to a news release from the league, the PASL has reached an agreement with an ownership group and finalized a lease at Hartman Arena, which housed the Wings the past two seasons.
"We were committed to keeping professional indoor soccer in Wichita, and are excited to have this deal done," said Morrie Sheets, vice president and director of operations for the Hartman Group of Companies, which owns Hartman Arena.
"The PASL is excited to add another great indoor soccer market like Wichita to our league," said PASL commissioner Kevin Milliken. "The great fans in Wichita have been very passionate and dedicated and it feels good to be able to share the news that indoor soccer will continue this winter."
A press conference is expected in the next two weeks to announce the team name, ownership group and head coach.
The PASL played a 16-game regular season last season. The league was formed as a professional offshoot of the Premier Arena Soccer League.
The San Diego Sockers are the four-time defending champions. The Sockers, formed in 2009, are the third indoor team to claim the name. The original Sockers were a rival of the original Wings in the original Major Indoor Soccer League.
The top two teams in each division advance to the Ron Newman Cup playoffs. The first round is a home-and-home most goals format. The semifinals and finals are single elimination.
Teams also compete in the U.S. Open Cup for Arena Soccer, which is open to all indoor soccer teams in the U.S., although the MISL has declined to participate. Premier Arena Soccer League teams, some independent teams and several collegiate teams competed last season. The Detroit Waza is the defending champion.
Teams in the league include the Cincinnati Kings, Detroit Waza, Harrisburg Heat, Illinois Piasa and Ohio (Medina) Vortex in the Eastern Division; Chicago Mustangs, Dallas Sidekicks, La Fiera FC (Hildago, Texas), Rockford Rampage and Texas (Beaumont) Strikers in the Central Division; Arizona (Glendale) Storm, Las Vegas Legends, Real Phoenix and Toros Mexico (Tijuana) in the Southwest Division; Sacramento Surge, San Diego Sockers, Tacoma Stars and Turlock (Calif.) Express in the Pacific Division; and expansion teams Tulsa Revolution, Laredo Diesel, Ontario (Calif.) and Wichita.
The league averaged 968 fans for 151 games last season. Some of the venues in the league are indoor soccer centers, while other teams play at traditional arenas.