Let me stay this right off the bat; year three of the United Football League is no guarantee. This league may fold, this league may already be out of money, but if they do survive the original plan was to get up to eight teams for year three. While that would be ideal, the UFL currently has six teams and given the financial situation of this league I would advise against rapid expansion. They added a team in year two, and it did well. I would lobby this UFL to build up the Virginia franchise before deciding on the next market for UFL expansion.
With that being said I think this league is making a big mistake by not having a team in the Mid West. There is not a UFL team within driving distance of much of the country where football is a pretty big deal. Since the league wants to stay out of NFL markets, many of the major cities in the Mid West are not available to them. However there are two very intriguing cities, the first Toledo, Ohio which is one of the best minor league sport cities in the country and the second is Grand Rapids, Michigan or even Peoria, Illinois.
Of course simply dropping a franchise into a new town is only the beginning. The team must find suitable facilities to play in and given the size of UFL crowds Universities are the ideal place to host UFL games. Toledo has a nice university with a top notch football field, and its position between Detroit and Cleveland make it an ideal market for UFL expansion, but cases can be made for the other cities I have already mentioned.
In the end expansion should be off the table for now. I would argue that that Las Vegas and Orlando are terrible UFL markets and the league should look towards relocation before expanding again.
- The Business of the UFL
- Joshua Lobdell.com