Home United States Basketball League logo Association for Professional Basketball Research

Will Birmingham join the United States Basketball League?


October 16, 1986
Mike Bovino, director of public relations for the United States Basketball League, announces that Birmingham is one of 11 cities being considered for one of the four expansion franchises planned for the 1987 season.

Bovino said that all 11 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."

Arrington said he has not yet acted on the letter but that he would.

The USBL, which plays a 30 game season during the summer, will be entering its third year of operation. New franchises will cost around $250,000 each, and will bring the league's membership to 11 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 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.


Epilogue
The United States Basketball League went on to play a third season. Unfortunately, Birmingham was not one of the teams.

This is Birmingham's second brush with the United States Basketball League
 
 
 
Contact Gene Crowley
Last update: August 16, 2018