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Bloomington Edge's Diron Simmons looks to get past a pair of Rockford Rams defenders during an exhibition game July 7 at Grossinger Motors Arena. The Edge announced Tuesday that owner/CEO Omar Khokhar is stepping down and the team is seeking new ownership.

BLOOMINGTON — The Bloomington Edge indoor football team is looking for new ownership.

The team announced Tuesday that CEO and owner Omar Khokhar is stepping down. Khokhar called owning the team the past three years “an unbelievable experience,” but said, “with additional professional obligations, it has become difficult to operate the team singlehandedly.”

“The team is an asset to the community and I hope someone within the community can carry forward our proud tradition,” Khokhar added.

The Edge are a provisional member of the Indoor Football League for next season after playing an independent, exhibition schedule this past summer.

The summer slate became necessary after an Iowa court ruling found the Edge in breach of their contract with Champions Indoor Football.

The team had sought to move from the CIF to the Indoor Football League. A lawsuit filed by the CIF led to an injunction prohibiting the Edge from playing until after the CIF season concluded in late June.

The team was formed in 2006 as the Bloomington Extreme and has played its home games at Grossinger Motors Arena in downtown Bloomington. General manager Charles Welde said the intent is to avoid relocating the team.

“I’m doing everything I can to keep the team here in Bloomington-Normal,” said Welde, who is in his second year as GM after he relocated from Las Vegas. “We have a passionate fan base and do as much as we can to serve our community and improve the quality of life. It would be a loss to see the team move away.”

Welde said options for relocation exist in and out of state. The decision to relocate would be made by the new ownership, he said.

“With the Edge being a provisional member of the IFL, we have attracted a lot of attention this offseason,” Welde said. “An ownership group looking to start their own IFL expansion team would have to pay a sizable franchise fee to join that league. On the other hand, if they bought the controlling interest in the Edge, they would save that money.”

The team also announced that head coach John Johnson has signed an extension for the 2019 season. Johnson also is head coach at University High School.

“Coach Johnson has proven to be a winner on and off the field,” Welde said. “His return, along with a talented young roster that went undefeated last year (5-0), puts us in a great position going forward."

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Contact Randy Kindred at (309) 820-3402. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_kindred

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Sports Editor

Sports editor for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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