As the premier season of the UFL comes to a close this week, and the league looks to expand into new markets for year two, we have to wonder if this league belongs in the big market of New York. The New York Sentinels have the second worst average attendance behind just the California Redwoods. They are averaging just 6,637 fans per home game and in a town like New York that makes them insignificant. Granted this team is 0-5 and will likely finish year one without a win, but a new league can ill afford its New York team to draw so poorly.
To truly answer the question, does the league belonging New York we will have to compare it to other leagues. In terms of football, using attendance figures from the XFL and the old USFL we come to find the strength of being in the New York market.
The XFL’s NY/NJ Hitmen led the XFL in attendance averaging 28,309 fans per game at Giants stadium. The New Jersey Generals of the USFL playing in the same stadium was third in attendance all three season of the USFL So the question isn’t should the UFL be in New York, but why are they drawing so poorly there? Sure their record is poor, and two of the games in New York went head to head with the New York Yankees in the World Series. The point here is the UFL is always going to be that other sport in a city full of them.
It seems that the league would be better served with the New York team in a city where it had a chance of drawing in big crowds. The other problem with New York, a lesson this league is learning in Los Angeles, California, is that in market promotions cost a heck of a lot more than they do in smaller markets. That means when this league starts to market itself the New York franchise will be paying a lot more for the same promotional activities in other cities.