SBD/Issue 155/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban Becomes UFL's Newest Investor

Cuban Says Potential NFL Work Stoppage In '11
Provides UFL With Tremendous Opportunity

The UFL Friday during its annual meetings in Orlando announced that Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban is the "newest league owner," according to Jeff Caplan of ESPN DALLAS. Cuban, who is "investing in the league rather than owning an individual team," said, "I didn't want to take on the responsibility of a franchise." Caplan noted Cuban had expressed "interest in joining the UFL ownership group in the early planning stages but initially chose to limit his participation to a broadcasting commitment, using his HDNet to televise games during last year's inaugural season along with Versus." Cuban said that "one reason he joined the ownership group now was because of the timing of a potential NFL lockout of the 2011 season, which would focus more attention on the UFL." He added, "Now if there's not a lockout, it's a valid league. But, that just made it more interesting" (, 4/23). Cuban said that he is "looking at the investment as a high-risk, high-reward opportunity." Cuban: "It's a product that has a lot of potential, especially if the NFL has a lockout down the line. People are still going to want to watch football." He said that he "will not be involved in the placement of teams or day-to-day operations" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/24).

POSSIBLE EXPANSION: UFL COO Bill Peterson said that if the league "grants San Antonio an expansion franchise this year, the team likely wouldn't begin play until 2011." Omaha received an expansion franchise earlier this month, but Peterson said that the UFL "likely will fall short of reaching its goal of adding two teams for the 2010 season." In San Antonio, Tom Orsborn noted the UFL "hopes to add two franchises a year until it reaches 12-14 teams." In addition to San Antonio, the UFL is "looking at Salt Lake City and a few other markets Peterson declined to identify" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 4/25).

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