RALEIGH The USFL will mount a comeback this spring, and the Triangle is under consideration for a spot in the reincarnated league.
Out of business since the 1980s, the league plans a 14-game season from March until June in eight cities. Players would then be free to join NFL clubs at their training camps.
A team in the Triangle would fit the leagues business model, which seeks markets where there are no NFL or major league baseball teams.
While the previous USFL sought to compete with the NFL, the new version will be more of a developmental league.
The league has been approached by a number of different investor and investment groups in the Raleigh-Durham area, President and CEO Jaime Cuadra told The News & Observer in a statement.
Cuadra added: We hope to have some news to report in the coming weeks.
A key issue is where a potential team would play. Chatter on local sports message boards has focused on the possible use of Carter-Finley Stadium, home of N.C. States Wolfpack.
There have been no talks, said Annabelle Myers, the schools assistant athletic director for media relations. It hasnt been discussed on any level, to my knowledge, Myers said in an email.
Raleigh City Manager Russell Allen said the USFL has not approached his office.
Flops in the past
This isnt Raleighs first experience with pro football. The Carolina Cobras of the Arena Football League played at PNC Arena for three seasons from 2000-2002.
The team moved to Charlotte and folded after the 2004 season. The rest of the league shut down in 2009.
The City Council heard a speech last week from Harold Turner, 52, a local youth sports organizer who says he wants to help manage a team.
Athletes who graduate from area colleges and universities could play on the Raleigh team, Turner said. The top stars might earn NFL tryouts.
Its another opportunity for players who slipped through the system, he said. Theres so much talent that gets overlooked. They just need a chance.
The USFL sent more than 200 players to the NFL during the 1980s, including future stars such as Doug Flutie, Herschel Walker and Steve Young.
The idea is intriguing to Councilman Eugene Weeks, a retired teacher who once drove a bus to Broughton High School football games.
Its worth listening to, Weeks said.
Other cities to earn consideration are Portland, Ore.; Salt Lake City; San Antonio or Austin, Texas; Columbus or Akron, Ohio; Oklahoma City; Omaha, Neb.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Memphis, Tenn., the Associated Press reported.
These are cities with underutilized facilities at that time of year, Cuadra told the AP.
Nearly all of them also have avid college football followings, something the USFL sees as a plus. Cuadra said a player could join a team near his hometown or school.