WDRB’s John Lewis had the opportunity to speak with the commissioner of the semi-pro Major League Football; not to be confused with the Frank Murtha-led outfit. of the same name. They have no affiliation.
Commissioner Adam McClean started out the interview with this about the league:
“Well, first of all, John, thanks for having me on. And I would like as you said, the United Soccer League is basically the best comparison because I was speaking to describing our League to the assistant Mayor over in Orlando because that’s one of our playing sites that I was talking about. And I finally said, because everyone tries to define this behemoth of taking on the NFL, that is not our goal, our competitors ourselves. And I was describing us to the assistant Mayor of Orlando saying, if you take the United Soccer League, which is who we turn to, we’re used in the same franchise attorney because they’re based here in Tampa, like we are.
So there it’s just a better comparison. So we looked at when this developed years ago. A lot of things happen when the spring leagues started popping out. We were in development with always knowing that we want a major League football to be a fall League, going into markets that we feel are strong that don’t have an NFL presence. And so that would be the best comparison. That’s kind of how United Scale did. And so people get a better understanding of what we’re doing and what our game plan is.”Adam McClean
Is there a difficulty there, Johns ssked, like, for instance, in Louisville, which is a big college football town, as you know, to have a four League play in a town that is Louisville and in Kentucky based fans?
“Well, it’s kind of basically it’s a great question because we’ve asked that a million times with a huge College presence like let’s take even like the University of Kentucky, they’re not going to want a professional presence because they’re so large as a Division One school. But we feel we’re a Sunday League and that we feel there’s going to be a strong enough following. But the biggest thing that we can really say is this process is a slow endeavor. Every year we wanted to develop, we want it to grow and get stronger and stronger and offer opportunities for more players that may not get draft in the NFL. That would be the best way, but especially for you guys in the south. And I’m mean, football is so big. I personally would watch it seven days a week if I had the opportunity.”Adam McClean
The league’s idea is to play in the fall, on Sundays, which would mean direct competition with the NFL. McClean addressed it this way:
“…especially for you guys in the south. And I’m mean, football is so big. I personally would watch it seven days a week if I had the opportunity. Yeah. And then we do have a handful of franchises where the NFL is. Like, for example, when the Cowboys are playing away, our home globe Life Field is our Stadium over there. So we’ll be playing home. We feel slow and steady wins the race. So we think as long as we have affordable ticket pricing and if you really look back and I hate to reiterate about United Sock League, they’ve been very successful in their endeavor. And if you take that business model with us, that would probably be the best way to compare us.Adam McClean
You mentioned there you were going to play on Sundays in the ball. But doesn’t it feel like though you said you don’t want to take on the behemoth, that’s the NFL, but does it feel like that maybe that’s kind of I don’t think you’re trying to take on the NFL, but you feel like there’s still an audience in places like I do in those kinds of places to watch football in person on Sunday?
“Well, absolutely. Especially you guys in Kentucky and Alabama, where you have like, I hate to keep repeating universe of Kentucky and Alabama, but I would rather always pull for a Kentucky franchise and professional football, then step outside and have to pull for the Cowboys over in Texas, if you know what I mean. So I think hopefully and it has to be a grassroots endeavor where we start slowly and develop our fan base with affordable ticket pricing and concessions because it’s really about the fans overall, it sounds cliche, but it truly is.”Adam McClean
One huge aspect of successful football is broadcasting, getting the fans to see it from the comfort of their own home, but apparently, that’s not a big deal with the MLF:
“I’m on the phones all day with different entities as far as sponsorships, broadcasting. But the broadcasting deals is so far away ahead of what we’re trying to achieve. We want to initially achieve a small fan base and develop from there all of our prospective franchise owners, they’re told very firmly this is a long term endeavor. Don’t expect to turn a profit anytime soon. And hopefully it’s for the love of the game.”Adam McClean
McClean even had an opinion on why spring leagues don’t tend to work:
“Well, here’s the thing. I’m going to give you my perspective in this endeavor. That the biggest problem with spring leagues. And I wish everyone success in this industry. But when you have eight teams, number one that are funded by the League itself, that’s quite an endeavor. That’s more of an impressive endeavor than 32 teams owned by very successful and wealthy individuals or groups. So the best way I tell people that don’t get, like, a difference between a franchise and a team. Each individual is financially responsible for their Stadium, their team, their administration, their players no different than a McDonald‘s franchise.”Adam McClean
We don’t want to give you the whole interview, and there’s a lot more to hear, so if you want to hear WDRB’s John Lewis finish the conversations, head over to the link, and listen to what MLF commissioner Adam McClean had to say.
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