Coming off of a 2022 season in which they finished fourth in the Eastern Conference of the Indoor Football League, with an overall record of 9-8, the Iowa Barnstormers are looking to contend for a championship in 2023.
The Barnstormers, one of the best sports teams in Iowa, held an 8-7 conference record in 2022 before their season ended in the first round of playoffs, where they were defeated by the Eastern top seed, Frisco Fighters, by a score of 64-39.
As the playoffs progressed in 2022, Eastern third seed, Quad City Steamwheelers would fall in the championship to the Western second seed, Northern Arizona Wranglers, by a score of 47-45.
The Eastern conference found itself to be a much closer battle in 2022 than that of the Western, with the top five teams all having either seven or eight conference wins. What separated the teams, however, was the total number of conference games they were able to play.
While the Iowa Barnstormers did have more conference wins, with eight, than top Eastern seed, Frisco Fighters, who had seven, Iowa played in 15 conference games, with Frisco playing only eight.
Iowa’s 2023 nonconference schedule will feature only one game. This single contest will be the Iowa Barnstormers’ opening contest, on the road against the Vegas Knight Hawks, Saturday March 25, 2023, in Henderson, Nevada. 2022 was the Knight Hawks’ first season in the Indoor Football League after the team was established in 2021.
The Vegas Knight Hawks failed to reach the playoffs in 2022, finishing the season with a 6-10 record.
Opening night visiting the Vegas Knight Hawks will likely be a solid matchup, as the Barnstormers look to begin their 2023 season in a positive manner, while the Knight Hawks look to show the Indoor Football League what they’re made of after missing the playoffs in their inaugural season in the league.
Season Ticket Holders who join us at this Saturday's Open Tryout will have the opportunity to win a prize package! Stop by our Garage Sale to enter to win!
Doors will open for fans and spectators at 11AM.
Three winners will be selected and contacted on Monday. pic.twitter.com/Fjk8HJIpoB
— Iowa Barnstormers (@iabarnstormers) November 10, 2022
Seeing as the Barnstormers will play only one nonconference game in their 2023 regular season, there will be some very significant emphasis put on their conference opponents. Despite 14 of their 15 regular season games in 2023 coming against conference opponents, the Eastern Conference of the Indoor Football League will look slightly different than it did in 2022.
The Bismarck Bucks, who finished last in the Eastern Conference in 2022, with a record of 3-13, have decided that the team will not play at all in 2023. With the subtraction of the Bismarck Bucks in 2023, a new team was created and added to the Eastern Conference for the upcoming season.
This new team is called the Tulsa Oilers, and will play against the Iowa Barnstormers twice in 2023, once in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday, April 22nd, with the other game in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday, June 10th.
Just like they did in 2022, Iowa’s schedule will include three games against Quad City, a team that made it to the championship game in 2022 and finished with an 11-8 record. In 2022, two of those three games were played at Quad City, in Moline Illinois, and the third was played at Iowa, in Des Moines. In 2023, however, the Barnstormers will host the Steamwheelers twice, traveling to them only once.
In their matchups in 2022, Quad City won both of their home contests, while Iowa was only able to win their home matchup. If that trend continues in 2023, Iowa will be in a promising position to win the three-game series this year, after losing two of three in 2022.
On Saturday, May 6th, Quad City will travel to Iowa for the first of three matchups in 2023. Following this game, the teams will then face off in back-to-back Saturday games, on June 17th and 24th, playing the first in Des Moines and the second in Moline.
— Iowa Barnstormers (@iabarnstormers) November 4, 2022
Three Games Against Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls will be the second of three teams that Iowa will play three games against in 2023. This will be one game less than they played the year before, as the Barnstormers and Storm faced off four times in 2022, playing two games at Wells Fargo Arena.
The four-game series between the two teams was split evenly, 2-2, with Iowa winning the first two games and Sioux Falls winning the second two. The series was split 2-2 and each team had one home win and one road win.
Iowa will have the home-field advantage this year, as they will play two games in Des Moines and only one in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This series will likely be one of the Barnstormers’ most important in the 2023 season, as they could not have possibly been more evenly matched with the Storm in 2022.
Green Bay is the final team that Iowa will play three times in 2023, just like the two teams had in 2022.
Facing Green Bay
Of the returning teams in the Eastern Conference, Green Bay had the worst 2022 record, finishing 6-10 and losing two of their three matchups with Iowa. With that said, the Barnstormers won each of their two home games against the Blizzard, losing their only game on the road. Iowa will play their second of three road games to start the year against Green Bay, in Green Bay Wisconsin, on Friday, March 31st.
They will then play twice in a three-week span, playing again in Green Bay on Saturday, May 20th, and then at home in Des Moines Saturday, June 3rd. For the Barnstormers to compete at the top of the Eastern Conference in 2023, they will have to win at least one of their road matchups with Green Bay.
While Iowa will play three games each against Quad City, Sioux Falls, and Green Bay, they will play only a combined three games against Massachusetts and Frisco, who were the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference in 2022, being the only two teams in the conference with double-digit wins in the regular season.
Iowa will play Massachusetts twice in a span of three weeks, with the first one on Friday, April 28th on the road, in Worcester, Massachusetts. The second will come on Saturday, May 13th, at home in Des Moines. This could potentially be an advantage for the Barnstormers, as they get to learn about the Pirates first on the road, before hosting them two weeks later.
Both of Iowa’s games against Massachusetts will be big ones in 2023. Seeing as they are both coming in a three-week period, this is a major opportunity for the Barnstormers to either create some mid-season momentum in their fourth road game of the first five weeks or to maintain the momentum they have created through this point into the second half of the season.
The first game against Massachusetts will be the first game in which Iowa plays a team that made the playoffs in 2022, starting a streak of three straight games against 2022 playoff teams.
This three-week period will be very telling in regard to what the Iowa Barnstormers’ 2023 season is going to look like.
Grouping in with the three-week period in which Iowa plays at Massachusetts twice, their first game against Quad City at home on Saturday, May 6th will be significant.
Not only will this only be Iowa’s second game against a postseason team, but it is also a game against a Quad City team that was narrowly defeated in the championship game in 2022.
Winning the first game in a three-game series is always important, especially when the last two games of the series will be played on back-to-back weekends in June.
This first matchup between the Barnstormers and Steamwheelers is monumental if Iowa wants to win the series in 2023 and improve from its season in 2022.
The Final Game Of The Season
Iowa’s final game of the regular season will likely be a major game in their season. Facing off against the reigning one-seed in the Eastern Conference and the team that ended the Barnstormers’ season in the first round of the playoffs in 2022.
Not only did the Frisco Fighters end the Iowa Barnstormers’ season, but they also won both of their games against Iowa last season, as the Barnstormers failed to hold the Fighters below 60 points in either game.
The final regular season game on Saturday, July 15th will hopefully be a matchup in which the Barnstormers create some momentum for a playoff run. Regardless of where each team stands come the final regular season game, this home game against Frisco will be an important one for Iowa, as they look to turn the tables in this playoff rematch from 2022.
The 2023 season is shaping up to be a promising one for the Iowa Barnstormers, having nine of their 15 regular season games being played against the third, fifth, and sixth seeds from the 2022 season. Over a third of their games, this season will be against teams that missed the playoffs last year.
This will mean that nine of Iowa’s 15 regular season games will be played against teams that either did not make the playoffs or in the Tulsa Oilers’ case, have not yet played a full season in the Indoor Football League.
If Iowa is able to capitalize on their games against teams that struggled in 2022 and are able to split their series against some of the stronger teams from the year before, then the 2023 season could potentially be a strong one for the Iowa Barnstormers.
Season Tickets for the 2023 Iowa Barnstormers season are on sale for as low as $128 per seat! Give us a call at 515-633-2255 to lock in your seats today.
Packages include the same great seat at all 8 home games, two free ticket vouchers, a VIP party with the team, and more! pic.twitter.com/6ivW7qzZz2
— Iowa Barnstormers (@iabarnstormers) January 3, 2023