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SBD/10/Leagues Governing Bodies
FOUNDER OF THE $1 LEAGUE THROWS IN HIS TWO-CENTS WORTH
Published November 10, 1995
Dave Dixon, a founder of the USFL, plans a new pro football league with fans as owners. Within the next ten days Dixon plans to announce formation of the FanOwnership Football League, with the unveiling in either Cleveland or Houston. The New Orleans businessman "envisions a league that will offer cheaper tickets, a longer season, and, above all, stability." Dixon said in "its present structure, the NFL cannot survive. ... You can't treat the public this way." Dixon said eight founding owners will put up a one-time fee of $5M, plus $2M in operating funds. The owner retains 30% of team stock, with 70% sold to fans with no single person able to own more than one percent. The league would have 12-16 teams and play a 24-game, fall-winter schedule. Negotiations are "underway with a major network" for a TV deal, but Dixon said without a TV contract, the league would go after syndication or other TV outlets. The league will target "major cities," domed stadiums and warm weather cities. Play is scheduled to begin play September '96 with an average ticket price of $10 (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/10). Dixon said he had spoken to CBS, Warner Brothers, and UPN and predicted CBS "will make a major bid" for the NFL in '97 (USA TODAY, 11/10). ANOTHER LEAGUE: Robert Lewis, a New York lawyer who is trying to form another pro league with Calvin Hill as Commissioner said if they don't get a TV network deal in the next 2-3 weeks, "we'll probably delay until 1997." Lewis: "It amazes me how fearful these (network) guys are of the NFL" (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 11/10).