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 Will Birmingham join the United States Basketball League?


October 1986

    Mike Bovino, Director of Public Relations for the United States Basketball League, announces that Birmingham is one of eleven cities being considered for one of the four expansion franchises planned for the 1987 season.

Bovino said that all eleven cities have been contacted about the possibility of becoming one of the expansion teams. Birmingham's Mayor, Richard Arrington, was sent a letter two weeks ago. "We haven't heard from Mayor Arrington. But we take that as an encouraging sign. It makes us think he is taking his time and not rushing into things" Bovino said. Arrington said he has not yet acted on the letter but he would.

The USBL, which plays a thirty-game season during the summer, will be entering its third year of operation. The new franchises will cost around $250,000 each, and will bring the league's membership to eleven franchises. Manute Bol of the National Basketball Association's Washington Bullets and Spud Webb of the NBA's Atlanta Hawks are two NBA players who have once played in the USBL. "These names will certainly get your attention. Those names speak of quality, the kind I would be pleased with," Arrington said.

According to Bovino, the USBL particularly liked Birmingham. "You have three fine buildings in the Civic Center, the Fair Park Arena and Boutwell Auditorium. Of course, the (16,000-seat) Civic Center is a little too big for our needs," Bovino said.

The team would need to average only 1,500 fans, at an average ticket price of $5, to break even.



      The United States Basketball League did indeed go on to have a third season. Unfortunately, Birmingham was not one of the teams.

This is Birmingham's second brush with the United States Basketball League.

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Last Update: January 31, 2013