I think we have some revisionist history going on here. I was crawling around the net today looking for stories to write about and I found a story with this headline of the official UFL website, “History Lesson – UFL Succeeds in the fall, Where USFL Never Got Started.” Of course I read it because I was a big USFL fan, and remain one of a few die hard UFL fans. Of course this article is completely misleading, and borders on being a flat out lie. I hate to call out a fellow sports writing professional, but Dusty Sloan really needs to take another look at the numbers.
The UFL has had its games broadcast on Versus, NESN, and HD Net. The USFL was on ESPN. Granted the four letter network wasn’t as great as it is now in the mid 1980’s. In 1984 the USFL averaged right around 25k fans at each of their games. Through two years the UFL is averaging fewer than 10k fans per game. Granted the attendance was way up in year two compared to year one. In 2010 around 300k fans attended UFL (fall) games, in 1985 USFL year number 2 (spring) over 3 million people attended live games. I mean even the one year wonder, XFL (spring), averaged over 23k fans at each of their games.
The point here is the UFL has come no where near being what any of us would categorize as a success. They have lost millions, and no one is sure if year three will be played or not. Much like their USFL cousins they have left a long list of vendors and others to whom money is owed. The UFL has simply not succeeded in the fall, and I personally think a spring time or late summer schedule would be a far better way to go.
Yes, I understand he is trying to argue that the UFL has succeeded in the fall, where others were afraid to play there, but given these numbers I do not think anyone can effectively make that argument.
•The Business of the UFL