While football fans are hoping that the NFL lockout comes to an end this week, the UFL is probably hoping for it to wipe out the entire 2011 season. The UFL's 2011 schedule was set to kick off next month and potentially fill the void of a world without NFL preseason football, but that is no longer going to happen, and not just because the NFL lockout is likely going to end soon.
Today we announced that the 2011 United Football League season will now kickoff in mid-September as opposed to August 13 as originally announced. At the conclusion of last season we announced that we would play in August because we believed then, and now, that playing in August provides a compelling opportunity for us to offer meaningful games during the NFL preseason. At the time we could not have predicted that the uncertainty of the NFL and NBA lockouts would create a destabilizing, negative impact throughout the professional sports industry.
According to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, an agent who represents UFL players believes the league is "dead." That shouldn't be too surprising considering the league has an expected operating deficit of $40 million. The league's financial status isn't good, nor is the idea of trying to compete directly with the NFL, even if it is just the preseason. The NFL preseason may not include much good football, but I'd rather watch it over the UFL any day.
If the UFL played in the spring or summer it might have had a chance, but considering it's irrelevant even with the NFL lockout still in effect, it really didn't have much of a chance to begin with.