Want to Start a New Football League? Take His Expert Advice--and Don’t

Isn’t it time for someone to start another pro football league?

After all, it has been 20 years since the World Football League experiment, and 10 years since the U.S. Football League tried. Both failed. The World League of American Football didn’t make much of a splash, either, but it was a development league for the NFL, not competition.

Who better to ask about new leagues than Gary Davidson, a founder of the American Basketball Assn., World Hockey Assn. and the WFL?

“No, it’s not a good time,” he said. “Even if you got financing to start a new football league, the numbers would just scare you to death. When we started the ABA, the team budgets were $360,000 each, per year. That was for everything--player and administrative salaries, rent, uniforms . . .


“NFL player salaries have reached the point where I just can’t imagine anyone willing to match them. What does surprise me today is that no one has tried another major soccer league until now. There are plenty of stadiums, and it’s a sport where you can pick your own season. If you fix the rules so you get more scoring, I think soccer would work now.”

Alan Rothenberg, president of the U.S. Soccer Federation and the World Cup Organizing Committee, has proposed the formation of a major U.S. pro soccer league for 1995.