A look at the finances of the UFL

Joshua Lobdell - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 9:05 p.m. ET

Through the first two weeks of the inaugural UFL season the attendance figures do not look all that good. The league as a whole is averaging just under 11,000 per game. The only good thing about that is this league has spent virtually no money on marketing. Since the first season didn’t come together until late summer many league officials are willing to write of the poor attendance. However, in the sporting world perception is everything and if no one is in the stands this league might have a hard time getting fans interested in season number 2.

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As a sports writer, I have watched all the UFL TV broadcasts. I got started writing about sports covering the XFL, and my childhood is filled with great memories of the Michigan Panthers, and the old USFL. This kind of football is very close to my heart, but after seeing the UFL contest in San Francisco with just 6,343 fans in the stands I am starting to doubt the viability of this league.

Sure every new football league has to start somewhere, but no one appears interested in this league. San Francisco should be a great market for this league, sure there are two NFL teams in the market, but the Oakland Raiders are terrible, and this was the city the led the XFL in game attendance. For the five home games the San Francisco Demons played there they drew 175,024 or 35,005 fans per home game.

The only saving grace for this league is a 70 million, two year TV deal with Versus. Add onto that some additional revenue from a TV deal with Mark Cuban’s HD Net TV channel, and the reportedly strong merchandise sales for this league, and we have enough revenue to insure season two. However, if the attendance remains this low with a full year’s worth of marketing behind it, then this league has no chance for season number 3.


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