The UFL, a league which has struggled with monetary issues over the past few seasons, has decided to close it’s doors in the middle of it’s eight game season. This morning, the league announced the suspension of operations for the remainder of the regular season. Despite inking a television deal with CBSSports, I don’t find this move to be surprising.
I reached out to every team in the UFL in order to get press releases sent to me, and the only team which responded were the Omaha Nighthawks. The design of the UFL official website was horrendous. A few teams didn’t even have official websites, they operated out of a Facebook page. There were dreams of the UFL becoming a developmental league for the NFL, but financial issues have once again obviously raised their ugly head, and this might be the final blow to ever seeing the UFL ever again.
According to the Omaha Nighthawks general manager in a press release, ” League ownership has made the difficult decision to suspend operations for the 2012 season. This decision was made after careful consideration and consultation with all parties involved.” In other words- the money ran out.
I have written many articles about the creation of a developmental league for the NFL. I love the idea. I’m all about more football, I love the game. As I wrote back in July of this year, I thought the idea to televise games during the NFL season was a recipe for disaster. The NFL is expanding it’s television presence with now more Thursday night games, and at this point in the calendar year, sports fans have to pick and choose what they are going to watch.
I write about sports for a living, so my televisions are always focused on sports. However, the average fan, raising a family does not have the luxury of watching sports 20 hours a day. There are family responsibilities. The UFL picked the incorrect time of the year to launch a football league. They are competing against the NFL on Sunday, Sunday night, Monday night and Thursday night. Then there is the college football aspect. MLB playoffs are in full swing, and those games don’t start now until 8 p.m. EST. For people that don’t cover sports for a living, a decision has to be made, and quite frankly, the UFL had to suffer on the viewer rotation of sporting events.
As a football fan, I think we can’t get enough of football, but the business plan for the UFL was flawed from the start.
The USFL was planning a comeback this spring/summer. The upstart league issued a press release last month stating that they are now focusing on creating a 2014 launch of the league. I seriously believe that the USFL has the right idea. Take some time, find the correct locations to place a team, and play football in the season when everyone wants to see some football played. Spring/Summer football is a great idea, and I can’t wait to see the pigskin tossed around during those dreadful months that football fans are forced to watch golf and cars turn left.
UPDATE: The confusion surrounding the UFL seems to continue. Shortly after receiving the press release from the Omaha Nighthawks stating that the league was shutting down operations, I received another release. This time, the league admitted there are monetary issues surrounding the league and a UFL spokesman states that the league is planning on resuming play in the spring.
From the league’s press release: