As most of you probably now know, on Monday the United Football League (UFL) conditionally granted Norfolk a franchise. They would begin play in 2011.
Okay, it's easy to dismiss it as "It's the UFL!" However, there are reasons to support the team that are not so obvious to some.
First, a successful UFL franchise here could get the attention of other pro sports leagues, including the NFL. The biggest reason the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars exist today was the USFL's Jacksonville Bulls. The Bulls would regularly sellout the Gator Bowl, and the NFL took notice.
More recent was the New Orleans Hornets spending a season in Oklahoma City in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Oklahoma City wasn't even on the NBA's radar screen, but the Okies offered the Hornets their arena rent free...and then sold out every home game. We now have the Oklahoma City Thunder.
As a native Marylander, I'm familiar with what owner Jim Speros did with the CFL's Baltimore Stallions. If he can do even better here....
Finally, I hope an agreement is reached so the new team plays at Norfolk State's Dick Price Stadium. First, it's by far the largest of the venues under consideration. Second, it's on Norfolk's light rail Starter Line, which would aid moving fans in and out of games. I went to a Spartans game a couple seasons ago, and the facility is certainly adequate.