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Will Birmingham join the Regional Football League?

July 1, 1999
Leon Fulton, owner of the New Orleans Thunder of the Regional Football League, said he wants to relocate his struggling franchise to Birmingham. After losing more than $1 million this season, Fulton claims Birmingham is his top choice.

     New Orleans Thunder logo
The RFL is a six team spring developmental league and has lost more than $6 million during its inaugural season. The Mobile Admirals recently won the league's first championship.

"I'm definitely exploring the option of moving to Birmingham. I hope to meet with the mayor, with the city council and chamber of commerce to see their interest," Fulton said.

However, Fulton has already met with officials in San Antonio, another city he is considering as a site for his team. "I'm definitely moving the team. San Antonio is a possibility, but I have some significant reasons for wanting to move to Birmingham. I have a home in Atlanta and it would work out good for me. Plus, the economics of it, I think, will work."

Fulton said he is not concerned that Birmingham will field a team next spring in the indoor Xtreme Football League. "We've not even heard of it." The XFL, which will begin play next April, has a schedule that runs concurrent to the RFL season. "To me, that's a pipe dream. Being a naturalist, I believe the people in Birmingham are like the people in New Orleans in that they like real football. There's a place for it, but it wouldn't bother me one iota for there to be an indoor team in Birmingham."

April 1999

Regional Football League logo 1999                              
Regional Football League                              
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  Houston Outlaws logo   Mississippi Pride logo   Mobile Admirals logo   New Orleans Thunder logo   Ohio Cannon logo  
  Houston Outlaws   Mississippi Pride   Mobile Admirals
  New Orleans Thunder   Ohio Cannon  
  Shreveport-Bossier Knights logo                  
  Shreveport-Bossier Knights                  

The Regional Football League was formed to be the "major league of spring football."

The RFL's only season was cut short from 14 regular season games to eight, due presumably to lack of capital.

On June 6th, 1999 the Mobile Admirals defeated the Houston Outlaws 14-12 for the make-shift championship.

Despite efforts to resume play for a second season, the league ultimately folded. The main worry investors had was the upcoming XFL, a creation of the World Wrestling Federation and NBC.
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