The United Football League’s third season, which started after a month-long postponement and ended early after the last two regular season games were pulled from the schedule, came to an end last week when the two-time defending champion Las Vegas Locos were beaten by the Virginia Destroyers in the championship game. Many immediately speculated that contest was the last one in UFL history, but the UFL has no immediate plans to call it a day. In fact, the UFL is thinking of flipping the football script.
The league’s website has a message from Commissioner Michael Huyghue and in that note he admits the UFL is more than willing to consider playing in the spring. “… potential media partners, potential investors and stadium authorities have said that they want us to consider spring as our football crazed country lacks professional football during that time period,” says Huyghue on the site.
Those of us that remember the original USFL know that spring football can work. Sure, the USFL was able to draw some big attendance numbers and television ratings because of the talent level of the players in the league, but part of the success was simply that there was no other football to see until the calendar turned to the fall.
Data may indicate that people are most interested in football during the fall and winter seasons, but there’s already plenty of pigskin to choose from in that time window. NFL football, college football and high school football are already on the plate and it’s hard to find a market in the country where there isn’t a passion for at least one of those levels, if not two or all three.
Those that have followed the UFL for the last three years know the games have been entertaining and played at a high level. The teams have been coached by the likes of Jim Fassel, Dennis Green, Marty Schottenheimer, Jay Gruden, Jim Haslett and Ted Cottrell, yet it’s still been difficult to get a big TV contract and consistently sell very fairly priced tickets in some markets.
Moving to the spring would not be a bad idea for the UFL or for any alternative or developmental football league that wants and deserves attention, but it’s safe to assume that the earliest the UFL could pull this off would be in 2013. After just finishing its season, the league needs to find new potential investors and look for expansion cities. It’s impossible for that to happen and be in place within the next few months, so a spring 2012 season – unless done as a complete test run – has to be off the table.
The league wants to hear from you. Would you be more interested in the UFL if it moved to the spring? Share your thoughts below and those comments will be forwarded to the UFL’s front office.