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Spokane Shock

Spokane’s IFL schedule includes three Arizona contests

Trevor Kennedy, right, is expected to return to the Spokane Shock lineup for Friday night’s game against Colorado at the Arena. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane and former Arena Football League rival Arizona will meet three times in the 2017 Indoor Football League regular season.

Spokane has a bye on opening weekend Feb. 16-18. The Empire’s home opener follows Feb. 23 against Green Bay before they encounter three straight road games.

Spokane, which joined the IFL last season, and Arizona, which made the switch last week, tangle in Phoenix on April 22 and in Spokane on May 12 and on June 3.

Spokane visits five-time defending champion Sioux Falls, which defeated the Empire in last year’s United Bowl, on May 6. Sioux Falls entertains Arizona to open the season Feb. 17.

Spokane, Arizona, Colorado, Salt Lake and Nebraska are in the Intense Conference. The Empire clash four times each with Colorado and expansion Salt Lake. They face Nebraska once.

The Empire’s second bye is in Week 8 so they’ll play 10 straight weeks to finish the regular season. The team played 13 consecutive weeks to conclude the 2016 regular season.