After finishing the inaugural UFL season 2-4, and playing two home games at AT&T Park in San Francisco and one home game at San Jose State, the California Redwoods will move to their permanent home in Sacramento, California. The team will be renamed leaving the Redwoods moniker behind them. Dennis Green will return as Head Coach and assume General Manager duties. He and owner Paul Pelosi were welcomed to Sacramento on Wednesday by Mayor Kevin Johnson.
Along with the relocated New York Sentinels to Hartford, Conn. the California UFL franchise will hold a U name the team contest to find a new nickname for the Sacramento based team. At this point the contest is in the nomination stages and UFL fans can visit the league website to submit their suggestions now, until March 17th.
I think moving the team out of the San Francisco bay area is a good move for the UFL. Given their season from September to November the team had constant competition for fans. The San Francisco Giants are finishing up their season by that point and the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders have already won the hearts of bay area football fans. The only competition in Sacramento is the Sacramento Kings off the NBA.
Now Green and his team can start preparing for the first UFL draft to be completed by each franchise themselves. Last year’s UFL draft was conducted by the league as it operated under a single entity business model. In year two the teams are opening up their own local offices, and handling more of their own personnel issues as the league grows into a multi entity model.
This relocation was necessary as the Redwoods were the worst drawing UFL team in 2009. Through their three home games they managed to draw around 17,000 fans. If the league wants to succeed, it will need to do better than that.