February 9, 2009 - United Football League (UFL)
NEW YORK, NY (February 9, 2009) - The United Football League, a new professional outdoor fall football league, will kick-off the "UFL Premiere" season in October 2009. As previously announced, the UFL will feature high quality traditional football played by world-class athletes and will provide fans with affordable, innovative and entertaining game-day experiences.
In its "Premiere" year, the UFL will have four teams playing in at least seven cities. The four teams selected for the "Premiere" season are Las Vegas/Los Angeles, New York/Hartford, Orlando and San Francisco/Sacramento. During the course of the six-week season, these four teams will travel to each city for games. The season will culminate with a Championship Game tentatively scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend in Las Vegas.
"With the confirmation of four teams and the announcement of an infusion of a $30 million investment to operate the league, the UFL is excited to bring affordable, accessible football to underserved markets this October," said Commissioner Michael Huyghue. "The "UFL Premiere" season will allow us to set the foundation within the cities we feel would be a good fit, demonstrate the terrific talent of the coaches and players at our high level of competition, and integrate innovation into all aspects of the league so we are ready for expansion in 2010."
In addition to UFL Founder Bill Hambrecht and original investor Tim Armstrong, the UFL is being funded by a consortium of investors including Paul Pelosi. Pelosi is the president of FLS, Inc., a diversified investment and consulting company based in San Francisco and serves on many corporate and philanthropic boards.
The UFL will train and house its players in Casa Grande, Arizona where a $20 million training complex is being constructed for both the city and league use. The UFL will begin signing players in July and training camp will begin in Casa Grande on September 1st. League officials are currently in negotiations with various stadiums and these agreements will be announced as they are finalized. The UFL is also in final negotiations with a major sports cable network for a weekly nationally-televised game.
The UFL will continue its highly popular "Name Your Team" campaign via its website and onsite at the "UFL Premiere" games. All entries will be considered for the six to eight teams that will be included in the UFL\'s 2010 season.
The executives behind the UFL are experienced NFL franchise builders. Commissioner Michael Huyghue has over 20 years of NFL management experience and is considered the architect in establishing the Jacksonville Jaguars as the winningest franchise of the NFL within a five-year span in his role as the team's Senior Vice President of Football Operations. While with the NFL, Commissioner Huyghue served on several of the NFL Commissioner's prominent committees, including NFL Management Council, the Executive Working Group Committee, the NFL College Advisory Committee, the NFL Europe League and as a Trustee of the NFL Players Insurance Trust. Prior to joining the UFL, Huyghue was CEO/Founder of Axcess Sports & Entertainment, where he represented a number of NFL, NBA and PGA Tour players. The League's COO is Frank Vuono who significantly expanded the scope of NFL Properties as its Vice President of Retail Licensing, has consulted for over 15 NFL teams and was personally hired by the NFL Commissioner's office to assist the Saints during the team's post-Katrina return to New Orleans. A co-founder of Integrated Sports International, the NFL Quarterback Club and its successor NFL Quarterback Greats, and most recently 16W Marketing LLC., Vuono was also instrumental in negotiating some of the largest naming rights agreements in all of professional sports and as president of marketing for SFX Sports represented hundreds of pro athletes including current 16W Marketing clients Phil Simms and Boomer Esiason. The UFL also has hired a number of former senior NFL executives to oversee team and league operations.