One of the locations that the New York Sentinels played was at Giants Stadium.
Florida Tuskers Take on Las Vegas Locomotives this Friday
Las Vegas, Nev. (Wednesday, November 25, 2009) – The United Football League’s premier season will come to a close this Friday when the undefeated Florida Tuskers (6-0) meet up with the Las Vegas Locomotives (4-2) at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Scheduled for a 3:00 p.m. kickoff (EST), the championship contest follows a six-game inaugural regular season slate for the UFL.
“In many ways, it was a dress rehearsal for us, the way a show opens on Broadway with previews and then opens to the full cast,” UFL Commissioner Michael Huyghue said of the premier season. “That’s what it was for us. It was a way to take a fairly well-buttoned up process and look at it more closely in sort of a test audience.”
The UFL let it be known from day one that this year was going to involve a few experimental moves, from venue to market testing. UFL teams lined up at seven different venues this year with the hopes of finding a couple of solid locations for expansion. Two cities that are believed to be at the top of the expansion lists include Los Angeles and Hartford, Connecticut. Rumors are also swirling that possible expansion cities in 2010 and beyond could include Salt Lake City, Portland, Philadelphia, Rochester, Milwaukee, Detroit, Chicago, Omaha, San Antonio, Memphis and Birmingham.
“If you have traditional football, high-quality football, you build franchises where communities will support it,” Huyghue said. “That’s why markets like Hartford appeal to us, because I think we have the opportunity to come in here and not have a lot of competition and put a good quality product on the field.”
It is expected that the venues in the two planned expansion cities will be Rentschler Field in Hartford, which holds a capacity of 40,000, and The Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, which seats 27,000. Aside from Las Vegas, the remaining three teams that played the premier season have not publicly announced their planned venue for 2010. The New York Sentinels (0-6) played in Giants Stadium and at Hofstra University, the San Francisco-based California Redwoods hosted games in Spartan Stadium and AT&T Park, while the Tuskers played contests at the Citrus Bowl and Tropicana Field.
“The competition for the dollar out there is tough,” Huyghue continued. “We have to think very carefully about what night of the week we play, the size of our venues and the strategies to reach and retain fans will be very important.”
This year, the UFL predominately played on Wednesday and Thursday evenings on Versus and the Mark Cuban owned HDNet, and they publicly did not attempt to directly compete with high school and college football, and particularly not the National Football League. Such a move is the opposite of prior leagues that were quickly laid to rest, which goes to show that the UFL has a well-thought business plan and deserves a chance from football fans who have not already latched onto the supplementary league. The television product is very entertaining, and the live stadium product is done very professionally. All of the tools are in place for the UFL to be successful if football fans step forward and back it. If it doesn’t get that support and we lose the UFL, shame on football fans because that means we blew it, not the UFL.