RFK May Be Host to Spring League

By Loverro, Thom | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 4, 1997 | Go to article overview
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RFK May Be Host to Spring League

Loverro, Thom, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)

District officials met yesterday with organizers of the fledgling All-American Football League (AAFL) to discuss plans for a Washington franchise to play at RFK Stadium starting next March.

The AAFL is yet another effort to start a professional spring league, this one by former New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Vataha and his partner in a sports consulting firm, Bob Caporale. The latter owned the Boston franchise in the defunct United States Football League.

Six months ago, original plans for the league called for 12 teams in cities such as Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and Washington, with the league owning all the franchises and playing a 20-game schedule.

Jim Dalrymple, director of the District Sports Commission, said his group is still "in negotiations" with league organizers.

"We are working on a contract," Dalrymple said. We have done some corrections, they have done some corrections, and we're still working on it. Until we have a signed contract, nothing is definite."

It would mark the return of professional football to the District after the Washington Redskins, who played their final game at RFK last December, open their new Jack Kent Cooke Stadium in Prince George's County on Sept. 14.

Under the initial plans for the new league, an estimated $35 million was to be divided among 12 teams for player salaries. Teams would have one big-name, franchise-type player, who would earn an estimated $500,000, with the bottom of the scale at $35,000. Nothing has been revealed yet about investors for the proposed league.

The league hopes to attract four or five former NFL players per team, with the rest of each roster coming from the college ranks via a draft.

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