UFL Update: Is Connecticut an Under Served Football Market?

ESPN’s Greg Garber has an excellent article on the United Football League (UFL), and its chances of success.  Perhaps most interesting is Garber’s analysis of the historical success of new football ventures in the NFL era:

The history books say that six different outdoor leagues have come into existence during the NFL’s long and steady climb to the top of professional sports. The first two attempts appreciably changed the composition of the NFL. Three teams from the All-America Football Conference were absorbed by the NFL in 1950; and 20 years later, the American Football League merged 10 of its teams with the NFL.

In the 39 intervening years, there have been three high-profile challenges to the NFL’s growing dominance — the World Football League, the USFL and the XFL — plus two other quirkier experiments: the indoor Arena Football League, and the NFL-funded World League of American Football in all of its various incarnations.

Click here to read the entire article.

uconn-country1The UFL’s plan of a developmental league, operating cooperatively with the NFL is sound.  But how will the UFL get people to buy tickets?  Although the focus has been on under served markets - such as Hartford - the league needs to do more than show up and play to attract fans.  The UFL needs to become involved in the community at a grassroots level to generate interest, even in Hartford.  After all, how under served is the Connecticut market? 

UConn football has progressed to the point it produced four NFL draft picks in the first 2 yale_bulldog_y_logorounds of the Draft.  Nevertheless, UConn’s attendance slumped in 2007 (although it appeared to pick up in 2008).  Yale has hired Tom Williams as its head coach from the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, and he is intent on raising the national stature of Yale football.  If Coach Williams is successful, the Yale Bowl can certainly accommodate additional fans.  Not to be forgotten, the University of New Haven is bringing back football this season.

UConn and Yale have undeniable community connections.  UNH has a history of successful football teams and talented coaches, such as Tony Sparano and Mark Whipple.  The UFL may be successful in Connecticut, but not without building a bridge to the community.


  1. michael baribault says:

    i would like to buy tickets early and get great seats were do i sent the money thanks mike baribault

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  1. […] State, and the return of the U of New Haven program, football options abound (see my article UFL Update: Is Connecticut an Under Served Football Market?); and more importantly I don’t see any grassroots connections with the UFL unless the New […]

  2. […] game.  There are other options for football, even beyond UConn, in this state.  (See my article UFL Update: Is Connecticut an Under Served Football Market?)  A UFL team will need to market heavily and create ties to the local […]

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