Birmingham Gets World League Team

From Associated Press

Birmingham will become the second U.S. city to get a team in the World League of Professional Football, it was learned today.

Don Newton, executive director of the Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce, said that a news conference is scheduled for Wednesday and that world league commissioner Tex Schramm will attend.

“I would say things are looking up,” Newton said.

A source close to the league told the Associated Press that the Birmingham franchise would be awarded Wednesday.


Schramm, commenting from Irving, Tex., said: “We’re certainly looking very strongly in that direction. We should have something very shortly.”

The world league, with 12 teams, is scheduled to start play in 1991 with teams in six American cities, four European cities and in Montreal and Mexico City. Orlando was awarded one of the U.S. franchises last month and New York will get another one. Other prospective sites are Nashville, San Antonio, Sacramento and San Jose.

The last pro team in Birmingham was the Stallions of the United States Football League, from 1983 to 1985. In 1974 and 1975, the World Football League had the Americans.

The world league is awarding franchises first to cities, with the NFL owning a part of each team and its local ownership handling the rest. The Birmingham owners are reported to be Dr. Larry Lemak, who was involved with the Stallions; industrialist Bill Harbert and actor Wayne Rogers.


The international cities include Barcelona, Milan, Frankfurt, Mexico City, Montreal and London.