EVANSVILLE - Evansville and Fort Wayne will play host to new indoor football franchises beginning next year. The National Gridiron League says the teams will be known as the Indiana Firebirds and Indiana Blue Bombers, respectively. The Firebirds will play home games at the Ford Center, while the home venue and other details of the Blue Bombers have not yet been announced.

Evansville is the third franchise of the 12 that have been officially announced for the NGL's inaugural season, which is slated to begin in March. The Firebirds will play in the league's Eastern Conference, which also includes Fort Wayne's Blue Bombers.

"We could not be more overjoyed to welcome the Evansville market and the Indiana Firebirds to the National Gridiron League," said NGL President Joe McClendon. "Evansville is one of the most beautiful and welcoming cities I have ever had the pleasure of visiting, the city sits on the Indiana and Kentucky border allowing us to expand the league brand into two really great states."

Other teams in the Eastern Conference include the Georgia Wildcats, Pennsylvania Pioneers, Virginia Destroyers, and Virginia Iron Horses.

The NGL's 16-game season kicks off March 15 and will culminate with a championship game August 3.