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Will Birmingham join the United Basketball League?


April 14, 1979
A representative of the newly formed United Basketball League is in Birmingham to locate potential investors to financially back the proposed team that would play in Boutwell Auditorium.

Other cities in consideration include Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Jacksonville, Mobile, El Paso, Anaheim, Wichita Falls, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, Denver, Pueblo, and Shreveport.

Warren Walk said, "We're talking about something in the $50,000 to $75,000 range. That's the cost of the franchise." According to Walk, the total yearly operating costs would be around $800,000. The UBL was created by Salt Lake City businessman Edward L. Brown. Walk said, "The new league would be the Class AAA league of baseball."

The UBL would be considered a prime alternative to the European leagues for some players. The top salary for each team would be around $30,000. The league hopes to have between 8 and 16 teams that will each play a 72 game schedule.

League innovations might include a 20-second shot clock, two 26-minute halves, a 3-point field goal outside of 20 feet, and 7 personal fouls.

Rumor has it that a part-owner of the league is singer Charley Pride.

Owners are already lined up in Pittsburgh, Albuquerque, and El Paso. "We have 32 cities that we are looking at. Cities must have a population of 175,000 or better, and a metropolitan area of over 250,000. They have to have a place to play that will seat at least 5,000. We hope to have 8 teams lined up by the middle of next month. Certainly, by the middle of June we'll know if it's go or no-go for this coming season," Walk said.


Epilogue
The answer was "no-go" and the United Basketball League never got past the planning stage and as a result, no games were ever played.



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Last update: January 14, 2018