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Will Birmingham play in the International Indoor Soccer League?

October 1, 2007
Graham Tutt, former professional goalkeeper for the Atlanta Chiefs, intends to organize a new indoor soccer league based primarily in the Southeast. Birmingham is among the cities Tutt wants to place a team in.

Nashville, Chattanooga, Charlotte, Memphis, Atlanta, Mobile, Tampa, and Jacksonville are some of the other targeted cities.

  Graham Tutt
Tutt, a standout English Premier League goalkeeper for Charlton Athletic in the 1970's, has run numerous soccer camps since the early 1980's and also has been active in coaching at the club and high school levels. He is best known for having played with the Chiefs, Atlanta's North American Soccer League franchise that lived briefly in the early 1980's.

The Chiefs played outdoor and indoor games at two now extinct buildings, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and The Omni, and Tutt always remembered how the indoor games typically drew better than the outdoor ones, even 25 years ago. With that in mind, he put his heart and money (his mountain cabin hangs in the balance on this venture) into the International Indoor Soccer League, his newly formed indoor league that hopes to begin play in 2008.

Tutt is the commissioner and president of the IISL's Atlanta Action and has been working to start up an indoor league in the Southeast for five years and is now taking the steps to do just that. Tutt thinks this is a good time for such a league, with America essentially being in its second generation of soccer popularity.

He said the league would be more investor-friendly than the Major Indoor Soccer League. The financial structure of the league would allow college players to compete without losing their eligibility.

The sport is played essentially on the same dimensions as indoor hockey and football, using an Astroturf surface.

The season would run from April to July.

Tutt's International Indoor Soccer League never materialized, most likely due to lack of financial backing.

Soccer finally made it to the Magic City, however. In May 2017 the United Soccer League announced they would place a team in Birmingham in 2019, and the Birmingham Legion has remained active in the USL's Championship league.
Contact Gene Crowley
Last update: March 20, 2022