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Will Birmingham play in Major League Football?

May 6, 2015
A proposed spring football league, Major League Football, announces they are targeting Birmingham as a site for one of their inaugural franchises for their first season in 2016.

MLFB’s management has identified Legion Field as a venue around which MLFB intends to staff its Birmingham franchise with local employees to manage the team. As part of Major League Football’s strategy, the company’s approach in Birmingham also includes a series of community-centric outreach programs to help build a fan base, support local businesses, and develop football talent in the surrounding area.

"We could not be more pleased to announce today our hopes to bring Major League Football to the great sports fans of Birmingham and the surrounding communities," stated league president Wes Chandler.  "Our brand of spring football will provide the region’s sports fans another family sports and entertainment option. As we engage in discussions with Legion Field officials and the local business community, we hope to create a mutually beneficial relationship and bring an exciting MLFB franchise to the Birmingham area that continues a rich tradition of football in this wonderful community.”

     Alabama Airborne logo
MLFB has begun contacting potential host venues across the country to establish cities that will become the inaugural season team sites. MLFB will review the venues in those cities, evaluate fan and local business support and other criteria to determine the cities that are the best fit for a MLFB team.

Birmingham joins Eugene (OR), Little Rock, Norfolk, and Orlando as the first five target cities. The MLFB hopes to announce another five venues over the next several months.

MLFB is one of the first publicly owned professional sports leagues in the United States enabling fans to purchase and sell shares for their desired ownership in the league.

???, 2015
  Ted Cottrell
League coaches appear to be Dave Campo, Charlie Collins, Ted Cottrell, Robert Ford, Wayne ‘Buddy’ Geis, Galen Hall, Larry Kirksey, and Chris Miller.

No announcement was made but Ted Cottrell appears to be Birmingham's head coach.

Most recently, Cottrell was the head coach of the United Football League's New York Sentinels in 2009.

Prior to the UFL job, which was his first head coaching position, Cottrell has been a defensive coach for numerous National Football League teams. His NFL stops include the Kansas City Chiefs (1981-1982), Buffalo Bills (1986-1989, 1995-2000), Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals (1990-1994), New York Jets (2001-2003), Minnesota Vikings (2004-2005), and the San Diego Chargers (2007-2008).

Cottrell coached in the United States Football League in 1984-1985 as a defensive line coach for the New Jersey Generals.

He has also been a defensive coach at the college level, working for Rutgers University (1973-1980, 1983).

???, 2015
Based on filed trademarks, there will be 10 teams.

However, the league's website only mentions eight; Alabama Airborne (Birmingham), Arkansas Attack (Little Rock), Florida Fusion (Orlando), Ohio Union (Akron), Oklahoma Nation (Oklahoma City), Oregon Crash (Eugene), Texas Independence, Virginia Armada (Norfolk).

The two other teams with trademarks are Northwest Empire and Utah Stand.
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Alabama Airborne logo   Arkansas Attack logo   Florida Fusion logo   NEED
  Ohio Union logo
Alabama Airborne   Arkansas Attack   Florida Fusion   Northwest Empire   Ohio Union
Oklahoma Nation logo   Oregon Crash logo   Texas Independence logo   Utah Stand logo   Virginia Armada logo
Oklahoma Nation   Oregon Crash   Texas Independence   Utah Stand   Virginia Armada
June 23, 2016
Schroeder-Manatee Ranch has filed suit to evict the financially troubled Major League Football from its offices at Lakewood Ranch. The suit filed Wednesday states that MLFB was served with a three-day notice to pay rent and other charges on June 16. As a result of the failure to pay, SMR asserts it is entitled to immediate possession of the premises. According to court papers, Major League Football failed to make its rent payment in March, April, May, and June. The rent payment for the 9,696 square feet of office space is $11,918 per month.

September 9, 2017
The league announces that Jerry Craig has committed to become majority shareholder and president/CEO of Major League Football.

Craig is president and CEO of Compass Creek Capital in Huntington Beach. His wife, Kris Craig, a Compass Creek co-owner and MLFB partner, will serve as chief marketing officer.

Originally set to open play last spring, the league postponed its debut when a major investor backed out.

The league will still have eight franchises, with Birmingham and Montgomery being considered along with Little Rock, Round Rock, Canton, Memphis, Salt Lake City, Portland, Denton (TX), Shreveport, Albuquerque, and a city in Florida.

September 2, 2019
The trademark for the name Alabama Airborne is now classified as abandoned.

October 29, 2019
Major League Football announces they have made a "significant step" toward a 2020 launch, but at the expense of another spring league.

Frank Murtha, President and CEO of MLFB, claims to have completed the purchase of equipment formally owned by the now bankrupt Alliance of American Football. The AAF was a spring football league that began in February 2019 and lasted just eight weeks out of the planned ten game regular season. The Birmingham Iron were members of the AAF.

Virtually all of the football equipment, video equipment, and medical supplies necessary for eight teams was included in the purchase.

Murtha claims the deal will save the league nearly two million dollars and solidifies the plan for the league to play football in 2020. “We are committed to long-term financial sustainability. This purchase is a great example of that responsible mindset."

As of now, the MLFB is scheduled to debut in six cities in the spring of 2020 and is the first publicly traded sports league in history.

“The AAF provided proof of concept for a spring league with attendance, viewership, and the successful transition by some players to the National Football League,” Murtha said.

February 16, 2021
Major League Football announces they had been considering a six team, full season employing at least 420 players.

After monitoring COVID-19 health and medical developments the last few months, progress has been made regarding vaccines and rapid, affordable testing, etc. and there has been some easing of crowd limitations for businesses and events.

However, their stadium facilities and governing authorities have made it clear that full capacity events are still not viable in the near term.

The league is now planning a more limited "Demonstration Season" for 2021 by decreasing the number of teams and the number of games they would play. This plan consists of nationally televised games played in at least three cities, including a training camp and three to four weeks of play with the season conclusion in July 2021. MLFB feels the "Demonstration Season" format is both financially viable and affords the best protection for their players, coaches, staff and fans.

July 2021
At some point during the month, MLFB's website states they "will be playing a regular season of games in the Spring of 2022 in which quality players will be paid for their services in six cities in the United States".

Late in the month, MLFB announces they have secured a $1 million secured convertible note to aid their financing.

In the FORM 10-K provided by the league, MLFB states their plan is to have six teams located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia.

November 2, 2021
Major League Football announces the 11 cities under consideration for their six inaugural franchise locations. Birmingham was not in that list.

Two Alabama cities were named, however; Montgomery and Mobile.

The other nine cities are Austin, Canton, Daytona, Denton, Little Rock, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Orlando, and San Antonio.

The league plans to have a "bubble" training camp that will be held at the Premier Sports Complex in Lakewood, FL in mid-April 2022.

After camp ends, teams will disperse to their respective cities to begin play.

June 23, 2022
Major League Football announces that the Alabama Airborne will play in Ladd-Peebles stadium in Mobile.
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Alabama Airborne logo   Arkansas Attack logo   Ohio Force logo   Virginia Armada logo
Alabama Airborne   Arkansas Attack   Ohio Force   Virginia Armada
July 28, 2022
It is being reported that three of the four team hotels in Mobile have evicted Major League Football officials, staff, and players due to non-payments.

After today's practice, MLFB coaches were in meetings at one team hotel when hotel officials knocked on the door and informed them to “leave immediately.” By the time coaches returned to their rooms, hotel officials were knocking on player doors informing them to “get out.” Hotel room cards were shut off for everybody involved in the MLFB. Hotel officials retrieved luggage for people in the organization if they were not already in their rooms prior to the cards being shut off. “It’s nothing we can do. We don’t know if we are paying for flights, people don’t have money, everybody is scrambling to get home,” said player Brendon Watson.

A MLFB coach stated the players have only received a small stipend, but were not going to be paid until their first game check. The coach said that coaches have been paid at least once to this point. A league official said the MLFB would try and bring coaches and players back in two weeks, when “stockholder money was approved by the SEC to help fund the league.”

The evictions came just a few days after MLFB held an offensive "Jamboree" with all four teams in Mobile's Ladd-Peebles stadium.

The MLFB's inaugural season is scheduled to begin next month.

March 13, 2023
The league makes a number of announcements regarding their future.

The MLFB's management team remains fully intact and continues to work on a variety of important items for their planned 2023 Season. In addition, they have been in extensive and active discussions with a major broadcast company to both telecast and stream league games. At this point, they anticipate that games being played in June and July with a training camp in May. They also claim to be in extensive discussions with an investor group interested in forming a similar league, with more direct fan ownership of portions of each franchise by individual local fans. The discussions are pointing toward a merger/joint venture, using combined resources and expertise. And finally, the league claims to be "pleased to announce that four former and current NFL players and some of their family members are investors in, and supporters of MLFB." None of the NFL players were named, however.

August 9, 2023
The league announces they have dropped plans for 2023 and will focus on a "fan ownership" model to form a fully funded joint venture in 2024.

The coaches from last year remain in place, the management team continues to work salary free, and their media platforms are activated and will begin carrying more content soon.

Major League Football has never played a single regular season game.
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Last update: August 09, 2023