Jump to content

USFL IS BACK!


danmerz

Recommended Posts

There nowhere *in* OKC for a team. The only thing in the city is Taft Stadium, a WPA building that's too small and too decrepit. Central Oklahoma up in Edmond has Wantland Stadium, but it's only about 10k seats. Any OKC team would have to be in Norman, and I don't think Boren/Castiglione/Stoops will go for that.

Austin may have similar issues, but there's at least some larger HS stadiums down there. I can't see them playing on campus, either.

Selecting markets for a venture like this doesn't stop when you've got a map full of push-pins. The venue is half the equation.

I think Tulsa could be a good solution. They definitely have a bit of a complex about the whole OKC Thunder thing. I could see TU granting use of Skelly Field for some extra cash for some upgrades somewhere else in the program. It could handle whatever type of crowd I'm sure the USFL would generate and since Tulsa is pretty neutral OSU/OU you wouldn't have either's fanbase turned off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 83
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Anyone else surprised that Orlando wasn't mentioned in the list of possible markets?

yep

The most recent list here they had said south florida is "under consideration", but Orlando wouldn't really be considered south? The rest of the cities listed were Austin, Portland, Akron, Memphis, Birmingham, Raleigh-Durham, OKC, Omaha, Las Vegas, and Orange County, CA.

So you mean the usual suspects for cities?

No one in Birmingham wants to see another pro team placed there unless it is an NFL club. They've had it with all the carpet-bagging leagues.

Let's take a look at the "gang of 4" - San Anotnio, Memphis, Birmingham, Orlando...

San Antonio: Wings, Gunslingers, Riders, Texans

Memphis: Southmen, Showboats, Mad Dogs, Maniaxx

Birmingham: Americans/Vulcans, Stallions, Fire, Barracudas, Bolts

Orlando: Blazers, Renegades, Thunder, Rage, Tuskers

Did I leave anyone out? That's 18 teams. 18!!!!

The economy sucks, people don't have cash laying around to buy tickets to a minor league product. Like the PSFL, the All-American league, etc., they will never play a game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the idea of growing pro football. I personally think it would be a good thing if there were more teams in more cities. I wish North America followed the European soccer model of having multiple tiers of leagues with the idea that a club could be promoted or relegated. This way a smaller city with no major college program and no hope of getting a NFL team (Richmond, VA to choose one example) can have a third division team or whatever... this way fans can have a local pro team to watch with the theoretical possibility of someday advancing to the top league, while still being able to root for the Redskins or whatever top-flight team is popular there.

Dreaming aside however, I think it is almost impossible to launch a pro outdoor football league today. It was tough enough in the 60s and 70s before the days of 24/7 sports broadcasting, the internet, and wall-to-wall coverage of the NFL. These days, you could be living in Siberia and be 100% plugged in to the NFL if you choose to be. It would be nearly impossible for a competitor (even one with no stated intention of actually taking on the NFL) to get more than a tiny fraction of the media coverage allotted to the NFL.

Second of all, each of the past leagues attempting to carve out a niche have underestimated how long it takes to build a following. I am very familiar with the CFL's expansion into the US, being a longtime CFL fan. Yes there were terrible busts (Las Vegas), but most of the other cities were attracting decent crowds of 15,000-20,000 fans a game, and substantially more in the case of Baltimore. But the owners pulled the plug after the losses incurred in the first year or two, which are generally always going to be the worst with all the startup costs you have to pay. I know those attendance numbers may not seem like a lot, but look at the attendance stats when the NFL was younger (the pre-merger days of the 50s and 60s) and the crowds weren't that far off. It took the NFL time to grow into what it is. Too many naive sports owners think they can open up a team in Memphis and start drawing sellout crowds right off the bat. Had the CFL stayed in San Antonio and Memphis for 10 years there is no reason to believe that they wouldn't be drawing 25,000 to 30,000 fans a game as a niche interest - not exactly going to give the NFL a run for its money but enough to be profitable and to provide a nice attraction for the local fans.

Having said that, I don't like the USFL's chances but I'm sure they'll come out with some killer logos and jersey designs!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyone else surprised that Orlando wasn't mentioned in the list of possible markets?

yep

The most recent list here they had said south florida is "under consideration", but Orlando wouldn't really be considered south? The rest of the cities listed were Austin, Portland, Akron, Memphis, Birmingham, Raleigh-Durham, OKC, Omaha, Las Vegas, and Orange County, CA.

So you mean the usual suspects for cities?

No one in Birmingham wants to see another pro team placed there unless it is an NFL club. They've had it with all the carpet-bagging leagues.

Let's take a look at the "gang of 4" - San Anotnio, Memphis, Birmingham, Orlando...

San Antonio: Wings, Gunslingers, Riders, Texans

Memphis: Southmen, Showboats, Mad Dogs, Maniaxx

Birmingham: Americans/Vulcans, Stallions, Fire, Barracudas, Bolts

Orlando: Blazers, Renegades, Thunder, Rage, Tuskers

Did I leave anyone out? That's 18 teams. 18!!!!

The economy sucks, people don't have cash laying around to buy tickets to a minor league product. Like the PSFL, the All-American league, etc., they will never play a game.

I hate to agree with this but living in Birmingham it is true. We have been burned so many times it's not even funny. NFL is the only Pro Football league that will work in Birmingham, and with how popular college football is now it might have issues to stay alive. The only minor league that work in Birmingham is Baseball and Hockey, and there hasn't been a minor league hockey team in town since the early 2000's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

Some new USFL news

Sounds like they have a goal of 8 teams for the first season and want to build new stadiums for a 5 of them. Even 20k stadiums are going to cost way too much money, for an unproven league. While I think the idea of a minor league spring football league is a good idea, they are setting their goals a bit too high. Prove you can sustain a profit then build stadiums and expand. Austin, Akron, Birmingham, LA, San Antonio, Baton Rouge, OKC, and Salt Lake City? Just guesses

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some new USFL news

Sounds like they have a goal of 8 teams for the first season and want to build new stadiums for a 5 of them. Even 20k stadiums are going to cost way too much money, for an unproven league. While I think the idea of a minor league spring football league is a good idea, they are setting their goals a bit too high. Prove you can sustain a profit then build stadiums and expand. Austin, Akron, Birmingham, LA, San Antonio, Baton Rouge, OKC, and Salt Lake City? Just guesses

I have a goal of Beyonce Knowles, Natalie Dormer, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Soledad O'Brien coming together to tag-team my Johnson until I drop dead... but that ain't gonna happen, either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't completely dismiss this business model. It sounds like rather than being purely a football league, the USFL is structuring itself as a commercial real estate developer in which small-scale stadiums are a centerpiece of their projects.

Consider this: Say they target area with solid high school football programs in communities that aren't at capacity for mixed-use developments like this. The high school program could be a co-tenant and eventually take over as a primary tenant should the pro league go belly up. The USFL could still generate a net gain from whatever profits they generate from the real estate leases.

It's still pie-in-the-sky, but it's a least refreshing to see an upstart league create a model other than the if-you-build-it-they-will-come philosophies of its predecessors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some new USFL news

Sounds like they have a goal of 8 teams for the first season and want to build new stadiums for a 5 of them. Even 20k stadiums are going to cost way too much money, for an unproven league. While I think the idea of a minor league spring football league is a good idea, they are setting their goals a bit too high. Prove you can sustain a profit then build stadiums and expand. Austin, Akron, Birmingham, LA, San Antonio, Baton Rouge, OKC, and Salt Lake City? Just guesses

I have a goal of Beyonce Knowles, Natalie Dormer, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Soledad O'Brien coming together to tag-team my Johnson until I drop dead... but that ain't gonna happen, either.

I legit thought Soledad O'Brien was a dude until I googled her 30 seconds ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't completely dismiss this business model. It sounds like rather than being purely a football league, the USFL is structuring itself as a commercial real estate developer in which small-scale stadiums are a centerpiece of their projects.

Consider this: Say they target area with solid high school football programs in communities that aren't at capacity for mixed-use developments like this. The high school program could be a co-tenant and eventually take over as a primary tenant should the pro league go belly up. The USFL could still generate a net gain from whatever profits they generate from the real estate leases.

It's still pie-in-the-sky, but it's a least refreshing to see an upstart league create a model other than the if-you-build-it-they-will-come philosophies of its predecessors.

This idea is even worse than the original plan to start a spring football league. The unnamed developer has to try to bulk a community not only to fast track any zoning issues, but also request a TIF to pay off the bonds they say they are going to have to float.

If the league fails and a local high school becomes the main tenant, then wouldn't the school district have to make the bond payments?

Remember all that talk of Akron? Well, a third party bought the Rubber Bowl from the University of Akron for $38,000 with the hope that they (third party) would own the team. So we have a third party now trying to squeeze a paper league into getting a franchise. The same league whose Facebook page at first claimed that Columbus would get a team then had to explain itself.

When they last surfaced to make comments, the franchise fee was $1M plus the local operator had to place $6.5M in escrow to cover what they considered to cover expenses.

They are not going to Birmingham, so there will be a town with a D-II school for them to pick on or whatever town Alabama A&M is in. Alabama State in Montgomery just built a new 27,000 seat stadium for $62M, but they still might be able to deal with the city.

I love the quotes from Jaime Cuadra, the CEO:

"The team we'll put in Alabama is going to be shared by one of the local colleges as well. It will definitely be a city that's a surprise. What we're doing is putting stadiums at places that will have multi-use and multi-tenants with a capacity between 20,000 and 30,000."
"It's all pretty much government-based because of the areas we're redeveloping -- areas that we'd consider economically depressed. What we're doing is bringing an economy to these particular cities. Part of the vision is if you want to put a McDonald's in, we're going to require you to partner with someone in that community."
"The UFL's biggest downfall was they paid too much to their coaches and they never thought hard about merchandising their teams or marketing them. They struggled to get interest in the league, and that in and of itself means the media won't pay a lot of money. We'll do a little more to market the teams and expose them to international markets as well as national markets."
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The following statement is taken from an 'Ann Roberts' who may be working for this new USFL.

Her statement was a replay from newballpark.org (a blog for Oakland A's stadium information).

The USFL and its real estate development partner are not only full partners in the constuction of the Stadium/retail complexes (retail stores, restaurants, sports bars, other sports venues, and residential, but are also owners of the 5 teams that will play at these “Company teams”. There are also 2 independently owned franchises. One is the Akron Fire owned by Team 1 sports LLC. They purchased the University of Akrons old stadium the”Rubber Bowl”, and are currently refurbishing the stadium complete with new artificial turf and jumbotron They paid $38k for the stadium. The other independent owned team is in Texas but I cannot reveal what city it is at this time. I can say the city is located on Hwy 287. The land for the 5 teams with the stadiums have been purchased and are awaiting permit approval. The funding is through private revenue bonds and the cities where the stadiums/complexes are to be located will have no capital outlay whatsoever. The stadiums to be built are of a modular construction and can be built anywhere from 90 to 140 days after the sitework is finished. One such builder of these types of stadiums is “Nussli”, they built Empire Field in Vancouver BC in 90 days from start to finish including sitework (a record for such construction). Locations/cities will be revealed once the permit process is complete and construction begins. The real estate partner of the USFL is a national well known developer/owner of commercial real estate across America. Thank you for your time. Ann.

I still don't think their plan can work. FTW, Hwy. 287 in Texas stretches the entire state from the Gulf of Mexico (Port Arthur) to the Oklahoma border.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Bump as they have changed the logo AGAIN,

942481_384630534983180_64707475_a_zpse37deb1d.png

Better yet, this statement was released this week via Twitter and Facebook:

On May 25:

We apologize for the lack of information the last few months. Here's a quick update: the president who had controlled the efforts to launch the new USFL for over a year resigned about three months ago. The remaining ownership asked Jim Bailey to take over as President and CEO, which he has done. We have also resolved agency differences that led to our web site being taken down and the loss of control of our social media accounts. We will have further updates on the league's progress in the coming days

It is save to assume that "agency differences that led to our web site being taken down and the loss of control of our social media accounts" means that they were not paying the bills to whomever they contracted to do the work for them.

On May 28:

We hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend and want to let you know we have been hard at work on the following fronts:

1) Identifying and resolving several missteps and unfulfilled commitments that had been made by the previous administration;

2) Reorganizing and refocusing the management team;

3) Defining and refining the vision and concept for operating the league;

4) Creating a realistic financial forecast for the league; and

5) Developing and refining realistic plans for financing the league startup and operations.

Thanks for your continued support.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

USFL NCAAF is back.

There, I fixed it for you. The NFL doesn't need a minor league when they already get the best talent in the world from FBS/FCS.

The percentage of NCAA football players that are drafted or signed to an NFL team is not good. There's something like 250 college teams right? You have thousands of guys trying to make it onto 32 teams. The odds just aren't good but there are plenty that have potential. It could really help them further their careers if there was a legitimate minor league in place. No arena and Canadian football don't count. Every other major sports league (MLB, NHL, and NBA) has a minor league system, if done correctly it could be successful. Not to mention there is a void from Feb-Aug without a high level of football.

I had just read that an ownership group in Akron is willing to put $50 million into renovating a stadium for USFL use. It's decisions like this that don't give me much hope for the league. The MLS did it right. Build up a following and fanbases then build stadiums, not the other way around. The league has to prove it can be profitable before people start spending huge amounts of money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It could really help them further their careers if there was a legitimate minor league in place. No arena and Canadian football don't count. Every other major sports league (MLB, NHL, and NBA) has a minor league system, if done correctly it could be successful. Not to mention there is a void from Feb-Aug without a high level of football.

I hope your "Canadian football doesn't count" comment only means that the CFL is not a de facto minor league for the NFL. They are different styles of the same sport, and I'll thank you not to trash one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The league has only given Facebook statements in text over the last week. No press releases, just Facebook. I love it just for its humor.

Their February concept that they have an agreement with a major commercial real estate partner (who has yet to be named) has gotten nowhere. Plus if there were agreements with a municipality, those would have to be disclosed for zoning laws and public approval in committee, even in the south. We are in June 2013, so the clock is running down on for them to even build a "temporary" stadium in 90 days like Empire Field in Vancouver, plus their commercial part.

They are still far from hitting the field. Akron investors bought the dormant Rubber Bowl for about the price of a new Acura TL ($38K), yet look at what they bought!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.