SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Sacramento is one of 18 cities across the country that will have a team in Major League Football, a league that is scheduled to launch in October.
Currently, Sacramento’s new football team doesn’t have a name, but it already has a host site in Heart Health Park at Cal Expo, home of the Republic FC.
Adam Mclean is the person behind Major League Football and also serves as the league’s commissioner. In a phone interview with FOX40 Wednesday, Mclean said he wanted to bring football to cities that don’t have an NFL team.
During his process of bringing a team to Sacramento, Mclean said he worked Roger Shepherd, who manages Heart Health Park.
“Sacramento has always been a bullseye for me because I think it’s a great market,” Mclean said. “I think it’s just going to be a great franchise, a great fan base so I’m excited about Sacramento.”
The last time Sacramento had a professional football team was the Mountain Lions in the now-defunct United Football League. The Mountain Lions called Sacramento home from 2010 to 2012, which was when the league folded.
Other pro football teams that used to call the capital city home were the Sacramento Attack (Arena Football League), Gold Miners (Canadian Football League), and the Surge (World League of American Football). All three of those teams played in Sacramento in the 1990s.
Oakland, the former home of the NFL’s Raiders, is the only other Californian city that’s slated to have a team in the MLF. Mclean said the Oakland team is slated to play at Laney College.
Mclean said he hopes the Sacramento and Oakland teams can build a rivalry for years to come.
Other non-NFL markets in the league are in Utah, Iowa, Oklahoma, El Paso, West Virginia, and Arkansas. Mclean said once the league gets going, none of the teams are allowed to relocate out of their respective cities.
Mclean said a postseason bracket would be eight teams with four teams each from the Eastern and Western conferences — three division winners and a wild card qualifier.
As for players in the MLF, Mclean said the league will try to find the best athletes, especially former college players who want a chance of playing at the pro level.
Mclean told FOX40 that the league plans to hold a combine for prospective players in the Sacramento area at a later date. The combines will be held in each of the league’s markets.
“Well, 1.6% of college players make it to the NFL, that leaves 98.4% that we know want to play football,” Mclean said. “We’re just going to try to find the best athletes anyway we can.”
As for finding coaches, Mclean said plans to hire up-and-coming coaches that are seeking an opportunity rather than hiring coaches with pro football experience.
According to the league’s website, MLF doesn’t consider itself a “secondary or inferior league” to any other professional league.
Mclean said the MLF will play its games on Sundays, the same day as the NFL.
However, Mclean doesn’t consider his new league as a competitor to the NFL due to having teams in non-NFL markets.
“We’re a competitor to ourselves and I know that sounds like a cliché response,” Mclean said. “We have to put out the best product and I’m not going to worry about what anyone else is doing…we’re not a spring league. We’re a fall league filling the void in the markets (without NFL teams.)”
Something else that is stated on the league’s website is there will be a few rule changes and it aims to have fewer penalties in order to pace the play.
“We’re going to cut down the penalties where there’s not so many,” Mclean said. “That’s going to be the biggest thing that we’re going to do. We just want to speed up the game and make it more exciting.”
The league wants to attract families, as the league wants to have games affordable with an average price of $50.
As he hopes Sacramentans support their new team, Mclean has a message for people in the capital city, as the league is months away from starting.
“I hope you guys all join in the excitement of bringing a professional franchise to Sacramento,” Mclean said. “I’m excited about it and I hope you guys are too. Get your tickets when they’re available and we’re looking forward to coming to Sacramento.”