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Will Birmingham join the World Hockey Association?

June 6, 1974
  Birmingham Americans owner
William R. Putnam
William R. Putnam, owner of the World Football League's Birmingham Americans, says he plans to bring big league professional hockey to Birmingham as early as 1976. "As soon as a contract is let (on the arena portion of the Civic Center) and work starts and there's a completion date set, I'll negotiate a lease."

Putnam plans to buy an existing World Hockey Association team and move it to Birmingham. He would not name the team. "There's a WHA team that you can buy for $2 million and move it. If we had the building, I know we could buy it right now."

The WHA just completed its second season and was co-founded by Gary Davidson, who also founded the World Football League late last year and the American Basketball Association in 1968.

The National Hockey League does not allow the moving of existing teams and an expansion franchise in the NHL would cost $6 million. Over the last few years, Putnam has been involved with the NHL's Atlanta Flames and the Philadelphia Flyers.

Putnam believes there is a strong hockey interest in Birmingham that could sustain a team. "I've been concentrating on football and I haven't had time to investigate anything else, but so many people have asked me that there must be interest. Hockey is a good spectator sport, maybe the best. But it's a terrible television sport."

October 1975

World Hockey Association                            
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  Calgary Cowboys logo   Cincinnati Stingers logo   Cleveland Crusaders logo   Denver Spurs logo   Edmonton Oilers logo  
  Calgary Cowboys   Cincinnati Stingers   Cleveland Crusaders   Denver Spurs   Edmonton Oilers  
  Houston Aeros logo   Indianapolis Racers logo   Minnesota Fighting Saints logo   New England Whalers logo   Phoenix Roadrunners logo  
  Houston Aeros   Indianapolis Racers   Minnesota Fighting Saints   New England Whalers   Phoenix Roadrunners  
  Quebec Nordiques logo   San Diego Mariners logo   Toronto Toros logo   Winnipeg Jets logo      
  Quebec Nordiques   San Diego Mariners   Toronto Toros   Winnipeg Jets

Birmingham did join the World Hockey Association. However, the franchise was not Putnam's.

In 1976 John F. Bassett moved his Toronto Toros franchise to the city and renamed them the Birmingham Bulls. The team would have some success on and off the ice.

The World Hockey Association folded in 1979 when the National Hockey League agreed to absorb four WHA teams.

The Bulls were not one of those teams, but they joined the Central Hockey League for two years before the team folded.

World Hockey Association logo Teams of the                        
World Hockey Association                        
xxx   xxx   xxx   xxx   xxx   xxx
  Alberta Oilers logo   Birmingham Bulls logo   Baltimore Blades logo   Calgary Cowboys logo   Chicago Cougars logo  
  Alberta Oilers
  Birmingham Bulls
1976-77 to 1978-79
  Baltimore Blades
  Calgary Cowboys
1975-76 to 1976-77
  Chicago Cougars
1972-73 to 1974-75
  Cincinnati Stingers logo   Cleveland Crusaders logo   Denver Spurs logo   Edmonton Oilers logo   Houston Aeros logo  
  Cincinnati Stingers
1975-76 to 1978-79
  Cleveland Crusaders
1972-73 to 1975-76
  Denver Spurs
  Edmonton Oilers
1973-74 to 1978-79
  Houston Aeros
1972-73 to 1977-78
  Indianapolis Racers logo   Jersey Knights logo   Los Angeles Sharks logo   Michigan Stags logo   Minnesota Fighting Saints logo  
  Indianapolis Racers
1974-75 to 1977-78
  Jersey Knights
  Los Angeles Sharks
1972-73 to 1973-74
  Michigan Stags
  Minnesota Fighting Saints (I)
1972-73 to 1975-76
  Minnesota Fighting Saints logo   New England Whalers logo   New York Golden Blades logo   New York Raiders logo   Ottawa Civics logo  
  Minnesota Fighting Saints (II)
  New England Whalers
1972-73 to 1978-79
  New York Golden Blades
  New York Raiders
  Ottawa Civics
  Ottawa Nationals logo   Philadelphia Blazers logo   Phoenix Roadrunners logo   Quebec Nordiques logo   San Diego Mariners logo  
  Ottawa Nationals
  Philadelphia Blazers
  Phoenix Roadrunners
1974-75 to 1976-77
  Quebec Nordiques
1972-73 to 1978-79
  San Diego Mariners
1974-75 to 1976-77
  Toronto Toros logo   Vancouver Blazers logo   Winnipeg Jets logo          
  Toronto Toros
1973-74 to 1975-76
  Vancouver Blazers
1973-74 to 1974-75
  Winnipeg Jets
1972-73 to 1978-79
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Last update: March 01, 2023