Wednesday, June 11, 2014

MECA Confirms Discussions with FXFL Over Pro Football for TD Ameritrade Park

Rich Kaipust of the Omaha World-Herald has the story about MECA's discussions with the FXFL to bring professional football back to downtown Omaha's TD Ameritrade Park.  Previously, it sounded like discussions were to bring the team to Sarpy County, but according to Martie Cordaro, president of the Storm Chasers, they've only had "conversations" with the FXFL.

The FXFL is looking to start a six team professional football league in October, after the NFL makes their final roster cuts. The plan is to play on Wednesday nights, and the goal is to develop players for the NFL. Players who didn't make an NFL roster could turn to the FXFL to stay and shape and improve, with the hope of getting a second look from the NFL at midseason or perhaps for the next season.

Based on the success of the Omaha Nighthawks, Omaha is a market that the FXFL feels they can succeed in, and for good reason. It's not so much that the Nighthawks failed, but the UFL itself. The FXFL won't try to pay the salaries that the UFL tried, and may actually have some traction with getting a relationship started with the NFL.  If that's the case, the FXFL could work.  And if it's going to work, it definitely can work in Omaha.

MECA CEO Roger Dixon seems to think so as well, telling the World-Herald:
“We’ve just got to make sure whoever’s going to do it can pull it together, and I have no reason to think this group can’t do that.”
The Nighthawks proved that professional football could work in Omaha at a minor league level, and that Omaha would support a team at levels much greater than what the FXFL feels is necessary.  TD Ameritrade Park hosted two seasons of football previously, so there's no question whether a football field could be installed there.  (That's something that isn't known about the "Trailer Park" in Sarpy County.)

One mistake that the Nighthawks made in the final two seasons was waiting too long to get started. If the FXFL is truly serious about making this happen in 2014, they probably only have about a month to get everything in place and set for playing in 2014.

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