Some in the NFL might secretly be hoping to see the UFL disappear before 2011, since the UFL would give football fans an alternative during a lockout.
But the upstart league won’t be leaving just yet.
Despite an inaugural season that was more sparsely attended than D.C. church services that conflicted with the Super Bowl, the UFL plans to expand from four teams to six.
According to Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal, the UFL has raised $20 million from two new owners.
The new money partially will offset $30 million in losses from 2009 and a projected $15 million loss in 2010.
Kaplan also reports that the UFL will move its games to Friday and Saturday nights only in 2010.
And that’s a good idea — too many Thursday night games conflicted with too many other sporting events in the same market. For example, the New York franchise hosted a game at the Meadowlands on the same night as a postseason Yankees game, and the Florida franchise hosted a game in St. Petersburg on the same night that Raymond James Stadium was nearly packed for USF’s home game against West Virginia.
The six teams will play a ten-game schedule in 2010, and the season will launch a month early.
“You are going to see on the marketing and business side big changes to terms of the approach and how we go about it,” Commissioner Michael Huyghue said.
One thing that remains up in the air is the league’s broadcasting deal. Versus and HDNet televised games in 2009 — Huyghue said that the league is still in discussions with broadcasters for 2010.
In our view, there’s another very important thing the UFL can do to improve its standing: Come up with new uniforms.
Last year’s collection of color schemes looked worse than something an eight-year-old devised in Madden’s Create-A-Team mode If the UFL wants people to watch the games, the UFL needs to give the people colors and logos that will resonate, not repulse.