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 Will Birmingham join the Regional Football League?

 
  

July 1999

  
         
    New Orleans Thunder logoLeon Fulton, owner of the New Orleans Thunder of the Regional Football League (RFL), 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.

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.

Fulton said, "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." However, he 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," Fulton said of the XFL, which will begin play next April with 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."

  
         
  

Epilogue

  
         
      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 8, due presumably to lack of capital. On June 6th, 1999 the Mobile Admirals defeated the Houston Outlaws 14 - 12.

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

  
         
 
 
 
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Last Update: January 23, 2007