I have been following this league since late 2007 or so, and to be very truthful the news that Jim Speros will own the sixth UFL team and that team will be based in Norfolk Virginia is the best, most solid plan this league has ever come up with. This league desperately needs to add owners who have knowledge of building and running a football organization both at the team level, and on the league level. Speros comes to the UFL bringing both. On top of that Norfolk seems to be about a perfect place for this league to expand its fan base.
Let us start with Speros. He once owned the only American Canadian Football Team to win a Grey Cup. As owner of the Baltimore Stallions his approach was simple. He knew the Canadian game was different so he went out and hired CFL veterans to run his organization. He also learned a hard lesson in not finding a name for his team. I would suspect that the Stallions moniker is about to make a big comeback. Better than all of that Speros built up a winning organization in this part of the world. All of that seems to be positive indicators for UFL’s sixth team. Speros also knows that fighting the NFL is not the way this league will be successful.
Now let us look at Norfolk as a market. Speros considered moving his CFL team there when Art Modell announced plans to move the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. Norfolk has no major sports, and beyond high school and collegiate sports the sporting options are quite limited. They do have the Norfolk Tides a Triple A baseball team and the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League but that is about it.
In terms of football Norfolk has little to no professional history. They did have the Norfolk Neptunes, a semi pro team who were able to draw in some 600,000 fans in a five year period in the late 1960’s. That also seems to be a good indicator for the UFL. On a professional level the team was the short time home of a World Football League team, and an AF2 team the Norfolk Nighthawks.
•The Business of the UFL
•UFL News and notes reservation forsix.com
United Football League
Embed this widget See full results for United Football League