SportsLine wire reports
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2000, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

MIAMI -- A new football league with teams based in four U.S. cities will feature concerts, sideline access and retired NFL players to interact with fans, league organizers said Wednesday. The Spring Football League has teams in Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and San Antonio, Texas.

Bill Futterer, director of the Spring Football League, said the teams will play a four-game season on Saturday afternoons beginning April 29, followed by a championship game in Miami on May 27. SFL teams will follow all the rules of American football, except kickoffs will be made from the 20-yard line.

"The Spring Football League is designed to provide an entertainment option for football fans who want to see outdoor 100-yard football in an environment that will allow fans to interact with active and legendary players," said Futterer.

Ticket prices for SFL games will range from $5 to $25, but a limited number of fans will be allowed to watch the games near the players from the sidelines. The league also plans to stage pre-game, halftime or post-game concerts.

Ninety percent of those involved in planning the league are former NFL players, including Eric Dickerson, Bo Jackson, Tony Dorsett and Drew Pearson, according to SFL organizers.

SFL Report

HOUSTON, TX --- Here we go again. A new professional football league is about to form. The Spring Football League, Inc. ("SFL") has announced its intention to play a 12-week schedule of games in the Spring of 2000. Potential investors, including former NFL stars Eric Dickerson, Bo Jackson and Tony Dorsett, are discussing a pro football league with games to be played in March and June.

The SFL plans franchises in Birmingham, AL, Canton, OH, Houston, TX, Jackson, MS, Los Angeles CA, Miami, FL, San Antonio, TX, and Washington, D.C., Mark Rice, chairman of the SFL board of governors, told Houston's KRIV-TV on Friday.

The inaugural season of 2000 projects ten individually-owned teams playing a 12-week schedule of games with Memorial Day weekend designated as the annual date for the SFL Championship game. Each season's schedule will be arranged backward from Memorial Day weekend to determine the opening dates for training camp and the regular season.

Each year the NCAA produces over 4800 football players and other collegiate athletes who have exhausted their college eligibility and could qualify to play in the SFL. The 1999 NFL Draft had more than 500 registered football players not being selected and the NFL 1999 pre-season saw NFL teams releasing over 300 players who did not make the final cut.

"It seems like a really good opportunity and I might be involved with the Texas team,'' Dickerson said.
Jackson said he was considering investing in the SFL. "I can't make any big announcements of whatever, but I'm very interested in this new league,'' he said.

Over the two-day weekend of January 21 and 22, the SFL will conduct a national combine in Phoenix, Arizona. More than 400 players will be invited to participate excluding punters and placekickers. Only 16 candidates per position will be invited.