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LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles was among 12 cities announced Wednesday as possible sites for teams in the United Football League, a professional football league scheduled to begin play in August.
The other cities under consideration are Austin, Texas; Birmingham, Ala.; Columbus, Ohio; Las Vegas; Louisville, Ky.; Memphis, Tenn.; Oklahoma City; Orlando; Raleigh, N.C. Sacramento and San Antonio. Eight cities will receive teams, a league official said.
Who get's in? Who get's left out? The plan is apparently 8 teams in 2008, and 12 in 2009
Since I am limited to ten choices on the poll, I did not include Los Angeles (which will likely be in if the UFL wants TV revenue) and Raleigh, NC (limited stadium options)
I also believe New York will receive a team in 2008, meaning seven teams will likely be in for next year. My guess
EXPANSION FOR 2009 - Louisville (East), London (East), Mexico City (West), Austin (West)
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Unfortunately for the league, every broadcast network either shows NFL football (CBS, FOX, NBC) or has a sister station that shows NFL games (ABC->ESPN, CW->CBS, MyNetworkTV->FOX). Obviously, ESPN won't show games either. So, that leaves two options from what I can see... Turner (TNT or TBS) or Versus. Versus is owned by Comcast, which would love nothing more than to pull the NFL a notch or two, but, the UFL would be better served for availibility by being on TNT or TBS.
Anyway, my thoughts on the markets:
Will have teams:
Los Angeles - LA being available is 75% of why the league is starting to begin with.
Las Vegas - Cuban's team will be here.
Likely to have teams:
Sacramento - 2nd largest market the league is considering
Orlando - Another fairly large market, popular "B-level" league (USFL, WLAF, XFL)
San Antonio - Fared well with the Saints, also popular in the past (USFL, WLAF, CFL)
Oklahoma City - Showed they wanted a pro level league with the Hornets
Unlikely to have a team:
Columbus - They already have Ohio State, which might as well be an NFL team there as far as popularity
Louisville - Although there football level isn't like an Ohio State, I think it's still high enough to make a UFL team unlikely to work.
That leaves 2 spots and 4 cities on the "bubble":
Birmingham & Memphis - Another two popular B-level league
Austin - Is Texas football too much to war with there?
Raliegh - As was said, hard
I think the cities with popular college football (Columbus, Austin, Louisville) are almost as foolish to go into as the NFL markets.
A few markets not being considered that have the size to have a team:
Virginia Beach, VA
Keenan Stadium- UNC football - upgrading to 75,000 in Capacity
Carter finley Stadium N.C State - 65,000 in Capacity
Wallace Wade Stadium - Duke - 33,000 in Capcity
The commish has already visited wallace wade stadium. It would be perfect since the UFL is eying stadiums between 25-30,000.
In his article Nation Hahn has also implied that Raleigh is right behind LA and Vegas in ticket sales.
I wouldn't be surprised if Carter-Finley is (it's off campus IIRC). I doubt Wallace Wade is, even if it is the perfect size.
Every stadium in which you're merely "a" tenant is a problem.
--Toronto, ON (with the possibility of the Bills playing there, whether part- or full-time)
--Salt Lake City, UT (UFL on Fri., Utah/BYU Sat., NFL Sun.)
--El Paso, TX (maybe?)
--Albuquerque, NM (there were rumors of the Saints possibly headed there, though not seriously considered)
--Omaha, NE (UFL on Fri., Huskers on Sat., NFL Sun.)