Wednesday Night’s A Great Night For Football…
No, not really.
But if you’re so inclined, the United Football League (with or without Michael Vick) will be bringing it to you this fall. This four-team (cough cough) league will play a total of 12 games in seven weeks (hey, bye weeks! Good planning!) with teams in Orlando, New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco.
Only they’re going to play some games in other cities, too. Get your tickets now for Las Vegas against New York in Carson, California on November 20. Or Florida against New York in East Hartford, Connecticut on November 14! Hey, people in the actual cities WITH teams are barely going to be interested, good luck with neutral site games.
Seven of the 12 regular-season games are on Wednesdays and Thursdays. I know the NFL plays Thursday night games. I know college teams play midweek games in blatant money-grabs. But those are special events with established teams and leagues. I don’t see how they’re going to draw people to see second-tier supposed professional football mid-week, especially when the games are on TV and even first-tier professional football is better on TV. And at an average of $20 a ticket, how are they going to hit their $12-$20M salary cap? Not to mention their startup costs and the $20M training facility they’re building not far from here? Are Versus and HDNet just tossing silly money at them?
The UFL says its salaries will be “on a per game basis and will be typically higher than the NFL’s minimum salaries and practice squad salaries.” The NFL’s minimum salary for a player with no years of experience in 2009 is $310,000. Do the math.
The XFL lost, what, $40 million in a year’s time?
Again, I’m a sucker for alternative sports leagues, especially football. But this can’t possibly work.