The United Baseball League and its unnamed Los Angeles franchise took two steps toward reality Thursday when the league announced a starting date and a national television contract.
The UBL, consisting of eight teams aligned in Eastern and Western divisions, will play a 154-game schedule beginning March 28, followed by a best-of-seven championship series between the division winners.
It was also announced that Liberty Sports' regional networks, including Prime Sports, will broadcast 30 to 40 UBL games. Twenty-five to 30 more games are reserved for broadcast by the network, and 26 games are slated for international broadcast.
Clark Parker, principal owner of the Los Angeles franchise, said a tentative five-year agreement has been reached with the Coliseum, the proposed site for the team's 77 home games.
Parker said he and his partners have agreed to pay for the reconfiguration of the Coliseum, at an estimated cost of $5 million, if other conditions are met. Construction would begin after the USC football season.
Parker, who met with Coliseum Commission officials Tuesday, said he expects the reconfigured Coliseum to be ready by early February.
The Eastern Division will have teams in Kissimmee, Fla.; Brentwood, N.Y.; Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. Western Division teams will be in Los Angeles, New Orleans; Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, Canada.