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Will Birmingham play in the Trans-America Football League?

November 1, 1944
A new professional football league, the Trans-America Football League, is showing interest in placing a team in Birmingham.

Another proposed league, the United States Football League, is also interested in placing a team in Birmingham.

The TAFL was formally announced in New York on September 18th and plans to begin play "as soon as war conditions permit". The announcement was made by league president John "Chick" Meehan.

Current plans are for franchises in Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Philadelphia. Meehan was keen on Atlanta and New Orleans, but both are probably out since New Orleans goes for prep football on Sundays and Atlanta's stadium is too small.

Reportedly, Meehan has been in touch with Paul Florence, the Birmingham Barons general manager, presumably to determine if a franchise here could play in Rickwood Field.

January 5, 1945
Meehan announces that the league's six franchises are set. Unfortunately, Birmingham is not in the list of cities named.

Baltimore, Brooklyn, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia were named.

"There is nothing tentative about our set-up. These six cities have already been granted franchises, have leased stadiums in which to play, and are eager to start. Two other cities, Denver and Houston, may be added before the league begins operations," Meehan said.

Meehan also explained how the TAFL's ownership rules will help stabilize the league; one man can not own a franchise in any city but a group of five or more must be invested. "In this manner, we believe we will have more interest and better financed clubs."

June 4, 1945
The Trans-America Football League folds. Meehan had hoped to place a team in New York city but the National Football League's Brooklyn Tigers will make Yankee Stadium their home park and the New York Giants secured the Polo Grounds, effectively shutting any other professional football out of the city. That situation and the war time economy were just too much to overcome.
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Last update: April 21, 2021