The UFL has spent the past several months in a financially-induced coma. Soon, however, the minor league with major losses plans to emerge from its slumber.
“We’re moving forward,” UFL founder Bill Hambrecht told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday. “We fully expect to play.”
Per the Review-Journal, the league plans to make a formal announcement of its plans for the coming season on May 1.
The UFL, which currently has five teams, will play mostly on weeknights, with a schedule that commences in the middle of September. CBS Sports Network is expected to televise the games nationally.
“We believe we have a media deal in place,” Hambrecht said, which doesn’t convey full confidence that the contract has been or will be signed. “With that in mind, we are moving ahead.”
Hambrecht added that players have been fully paid — finally — for last season’s efforts. The Review-Journal reports that the UFL is attempting to settle another $1.2 million in debt.
“The reality is we’ve been under-financed the first three years,” Hambrecht said of the league that has lost more than $120 million over three years. “But we’ve got things in place now to see to it that we are financially solid.”
The new-look UFL will have no commissioner or league office. Instead, Hambrecht and Virginia Destroyers owner Bill Mayer will run the business side of the UFL, and Las Vegas coach and president Jim Fassel will run the football operations. (Apparently, dire financial situations trump obvious conflicts of interest in the rock-scissors-paper exercise of running a sports league.)
“We’ve got to change a bunch of stuff, and we need to get more awareness, both locally and nationally,” Fassel said. “We need to do a better job getting the word out, and I believe we will.”
The UFL previously had done a fairly decent (for the most part) job of getting the word out. The problem was that, as best we can tell, no one really cares. Until they do, the UFL is destined to fail.