It’s somewhat fitting that the UFL, long thought to be dead, would give fruit to rumors of a return just in time for Easter weekend.
The United Football League, which lost a reported $120 million in its first three years, was designed as an alternative to the NFL with its summer schedule. When the NFL Lockout loomed last year, the UFL thought it was poised to step in and fill in the void of lost football games. But with debt and bad management, the UFL had trouble even opening the doors and all looked lost.
[Via LVRJ.com] Despite the resignation of commissioner Michael Huyghue, losses of more than $120 million in its first three years and rumors that it would fold, the UFL will return in 2012, league founder Bill Hambrecht said Friday.
“We’re moving forward,” said Hambrecht, the Las Vegas Locomotives’ owner. “We fully expect to play.”
An official announcement is expected around May 1. The league will conduct a meeting April 16 in Las Vegas to finalize plans for the season.
Hambrecht said the five-team UFL will play primarily on weekday nights beginning in mid-September and is expected to have a national television contract.
The league will consist of Las Vegas, defending champion Virginia, Omaha, Sacramento and an expansion team, most likely in San Antonio, though Southern California and Portland, Ore., have been discussed.
The UFL reportedly has cut a deal for games to be aired on the CBS Sports Network (Cable 333). Each team also is trying to sign a regional TV deal with a cable operator in its area.
“We believe we have a media deal in place,” said Hambrecht, who would not comment on the CBS tie-in. “With that in mind, we are moving ahead.”
While it sounds like we can’t count the UFL out of the picture just yet, I have a hard time imagining this league being around a few years. Competition from the Arena Football League and CFL will prove hard for the UFL to get ground in a market that isn’t that strong to begin with.