Thursday, August 1, 2013

Erie’s small venues, market size would make a new football team a tough go

The A11 Football League will have a Pennsylvania-based team when it kicks off in the spring of 2015. But Erie is quickly checked off the list of potential markets within that state.

Looking at the particulars for the city of Erie, it just doesn’t have the measurables necessary for a successful spring outdoor alternative professional football league team.

Checking out the United States television market rankings, it takes a while to get to Erie – it ranks 146th in the country.

Then there are the stadiums within and near the city. The biggest stadium in Erie is Erie Veterans Memorial Stadium, which seats 10,000 fans. Jerry Uht Park, the home of the Class AA Erie Seawolves minor league baseball team, isn’t big enough at a capacity of 4,200, and probably couldn’t fit a full-sized football field.

And the football fields which are home to the city’s two NCAA Division II college football teams – Gannon (Gannon University Field, 2,500) and Mercyhurst (Tullio Field, 2,300) – aren’t nearly big enough. Edinboro University, just a half-hour south of Erie, has a football field, Sox Harrison Stadium, with a capacity of no more than 9,000 with standing-room-only tickets.

Erie didn’t have a team in any of the previous three major spring outdoor alternative pro football leagues – the United States Football League, the World League of American Football and the XFL.

BOTTOM LINE – It’s simple: Erie, Pennsylvania, the home to a few indoor football league teams in the past, doesn't have enough to support a spring outdoor alternative pro football league team.

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