This was the Sioux Falls Storm's seventh consecutive United Bowl appearance and first loss, snapping a 6-game championship streak. It was the Arizona Rattlers' first United Bowl appearance in their first season in the IFL after joining from the
Arena Football League.
On October 17, 2016, the Arizona Rattlers announced their move to the IFL from the
Arena Football League. They started on a 2-game losing streak heading into their first bye week before defeating the
Colorado Crush at home 71–29. The Rattlers finished the season with a conference best 12–4, including a season-ending 8 game win streak, earning the first seed in the Intense Conference. In the Intense Conference championship, they defeated the
Nebraska Danger at home by a score of 62–36.
In 2017, the Storm began the regular season with 8 straight wins, including a 40–29 victory over the Arizona Rattlers in week 1, before a 44–36 loss to the
Wichita Falls Nighthawks. They finished the season with a 14–2 record, earning the top seed in the United Conference and the best record in the league, which they secured with a 45–24 victory over the
Iowa Barnstormers in week 18. In the United Conference championship, they were victorious in their rematch against the Barnstormers by a score of 66–32.