John Bassett, owner of the
Birmingham Bulls, announces that the group
that owns the Bulls will change it's name so
that it can focus on securing a National
Football League expansion team for Birmingham.
Alabama Hockey, Inc., will now be known as
Alabama Pro Sports, Inc.
Bassett and A. E.
(Pee Wee) Burgess, a key investor in the World
Birmingham Americans and
Birmingham Vulcans, will pool their
knowledge and vast resources to contact the
NFL's Commissioner Pete Rozelle. Bassett and
Burgess worked together once before, when they
teamed up to petition the NFL on behalf of
Memphis when the WFL folded in 1975.
Bassett said, "This is something Pee Wee and
I have discussed since I came to Birmingham. We
just finalized it this morning. I will divest
myself of all interest in the Memphis movement.
Of course it would be my wish that both
Birmingham and Memphis would be accepted into
the NFL. All the partners aren't aware of this,
but I have discussed it with a number of them at
different times. I'm sure this is what all of
them will want to do. I would think that the
first thing we have to do is set a course of
action and make the NFL Owner's Council aware of
a new bid and a new group."
NFL spokesman Don Weiss announces that the NFL
would not be expanding any time soon. Weiss is
the Administrative Assistant to the Commissioner
of the NFL, Pete Rozelle.
Weiss said, "At
present time, the topic of expansion is not an
active one. Birmingham has done a very good job
of keeping the NFL member clubs and several of
us in this office well informed of the
developments there. But we have no timetable as
far as possible expansion is concerned at the
present time. At the time Seattle and Tampa Bay
were admitted into the league, Birmingham was
one of the 7 cities we considered. And I'm sure
careful consideration will again be given your
city when we do expand again."