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 Will Birmingham join the Independent Football League?

 
  

September 1991

  
         
    At a press conference in Ft. Myers (FL), organizers of the Independent Football League announce the formation of their new football league which is scheduled to begin play in August 1992. Birmingham is listed as one of the sixty-four cities that could receive one of the sixteen charter franchises.

Other cities in close range listed are Huntsville (AL), Mobile (AL), Atlanta (GA), Jackson (MS), Nashville (TN) and Memphis (TN). A team of league representatives will be traveling to each city on the list to meet with city officials.

The IFL concept is based on a revenue sharing plan, fan ownership and wide-open games.

The two main founders are William Rasmussen and Les White. Rasmussen, the league's media consultant, founded the cable sports network ESPN. White, the league's television coordinator, owns several television stations in North Alabama. White says he is already in discussions with one major network as well as several cable and regional outlets to televise the IFL's games.

The Executive Director of the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board, Melvin Miller, said that he had limited telephone contact with IFL officials regarding rental of Legion Field, which the board runs. According to Miller, no serious contract talks have occurred. The World League of American Football's Birmingham Fire already hold a "most favored tenant" status, which means the city cannot give another professional football team a financial arrangement of equal value.

Don Newton, President of the Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce, said he received a letter from the IFL earlier this week. "The letter simply said how wonderful they are and if we are great and good and wonderful and want to take them to our bosom, that we might get a franchise. I wrote them back a one-paragraph letter and told them we are already supportive of the Birmingham Fire of the World League and we cannot support another team," Newton said.

  
         
  

Epilogue

  
         
      The Independent Football League never made it past the planning stages.   
         
 
 
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Last Update: October 09, 2006