Event Date: May 10th, 1982
Event Description: New Grid League Planned
Source: New York Times (Michael Strauss)
Plans for a new professional football league, comprising 12 teams and with a season running from March to July, will be announced next week.
The league, whose investors have been working for months to create it, will be called the United States Football League and will have franchises representing several leading cities, including New York.
''Our league believes that the sports fan in the United States wants to see more than the current 16-game professional football season,'' Peter B. Spivak, a former Michigan judge who is the league's acting chairman and co-owner of the Detroit franchise, said at a news conference at the ''21'' Club. ''After all, his favorite baseball team plays a 162-game schedule, and the basketball season runs 82 games.''
Spivak was vague in responding to several questions as to how his group could gain credibility and strength in an era when the efforts of other fledgling sports leagues, such as the World Football League, had ended in failure. But he said that the undertaking was backed by sufficient cash.
''Owners have pledged to commit over $100 million in capital over the next two years,'' he said, ''to insure the success of this venture, whose headquarters will be in New York.''
Among the owners are: David F. Dixon, the league's founder, who formerly was chief executive of the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans and who, with Lamar Hunt, was co-founder of World Championship Tennis; John F. Bassett, head of a movie company in Toronto and former chief executive of the Memphis franchise in the W.F.L. and the Toronto and Birmingham franchises in the World Hockey Association, which is also defunct, and Randy Vataha, a former player with the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers.
The owner of the New York team will be J. Walter Duncan, head of an oil-gas producing company with headquarters in Oklahoma City.
Saban Expresses Interest
Lou Saban, the Yankee president, attended the conference and, in response to reports that he had been offered the job of coach of the Denver franchise, said later that he was interested in having some role with the team.
Though acknowledging that no definite arrangements had been made for stadiums, Spivak listed the cities in which he said the teams would play:
Boston, Harvard Stadium; Birmingham, Legion Field; Chicago, Soldier Field; Denver, Mile High Stadium; Detroit, Tiger Stadium and the Silverdome; Los Angeles, the Coliseum; New York, most likely Giants Stadium; Philadelphia, Franklin Field or Veterans Stadium; San Diego, Jack Murphy Stadium; San Francisco, undetermined; Tampa, Tampa Bay Stadium, and Washington, RFK Stadium.
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