UFL, Hartford Colonials Suspend Training Camp

As you may have read by now, the UFL has suspended its training camp for 30 days and pushed back the start of its season due to financial issues.  It’s fair to wonder whether this suspension will become permanent and the league will shut its doors.  The Hartford Colonials are obviously affected by this development, and the Hartford Courant’s Paul Doyle has detailed some of the issues faced by the team:

Huyghue said the cost to play at Rentschler is the highest in the league — by $100,000 per game, he said — and that the league’s willingness to play in East Hartford is a testament to its commitment to the market…

Does that mean Rentschler is long-term option for the financially struggling league?

“Not if the attendance doesn’t grow,” Huyghue said. “I think over the long run, we have to mindful of our survivability. That’s one of the things that this 30-day [extension] is, [deciding] what’s critical, what’s essential, how do we ensure our survivability and anything that doesn’t fit into that, arguably, can be taken off the table.”

…Locally, the Colonials were embroiled in a workers compensation issue last year and many creditors were unpaid long after the season ended. Owner William Mayer only recently paid the $9 million worker’s comp bill from last year and the league is still addressing this year’s price.

Darren Heitner of the Sports Agent Blog covers some of the issues facing the league, and how agents should share these issues with their clients before signing a UFL deal:

Consider advising your football clients of the following items before they sign a UFL Standard Player Contract.

  • The UFL lost $45-50 million in 2010 in addition to losing $32 million in 2009, and has owed millions of dollars to creditors in the past [Las Vegas Review-Journal].
  • Mark Cuban is one of those creditors, who filed a federal lawsuit to get back his $5 million loan [Dallas Observer].
  • The UFL could not even pay off its medical bills from player physicals, radiology, and an advisor fee [First Coast News].
  • And even agents fought long and hard to gather their agent fees which were due to them [SAB].

Players also must be aware of the UFL’s transfer fee and how it has been applied.

Only time will tell if the UFL will survive to play another season.  If you’re interested in taking a trip down UFL memory lane, check out the UFL archives with posts by Dan Canavan and I.

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