The USFL announced Thursday that it will delay the start of its inaugural season.
Initially scheduled to begin play in the spring of 2013, the league, which won’t be a direct competitor to the NFL, will begin play in 2014, according to a news release.
Akron is one the cities under consideration for a team, which would play at the Rubber Bowl.
“Targeting a 2014 kickoff is a strategy that everyone on our executive team and board of advisors agrees is best for the league,” said Jaime Cuadra, league president and chief executive officer, in a news release. “This should not be taken as an indication that we have stopped working toward our goal. We have a realistic outlook on what needs to be done, and we know we need more time to build this league the right way.”
Sean Mason, president of Team1 Marketing Group, the Canton company spearheading the effort to bring a franchise to Akron, wasn’t troubled by the announcement.
“It’s probably a little bit of a blessing in disguise for us. We’re actually a few weeks away from getting finalized on the Rubber Bowl on some tax issues,” he said. “Once that’s completed, we’ll be able to close on the Rubber Bowl.”
The group has plans to complete purchase of the venue in time to begin inside demolition by November, halting it for winter and completing the project next spring.
A spokeswoman for the University of Akron, the stadium’s current owner, said UA is still negotiating the sale.
George M. Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.