by Mark Perry, XFL News Hub
According to a report by Mickey Shuey of the Indianapolis Business Journal, several lawsuits were filed in Marion County Commercial Court against Spring League LLC and its owner, USFL’s president of football operations Brian Woods. It should be noted that Fox Sports was a minority owner in the TSL at the time.
The TSL is on the hook for over $1.4 million in unpaid Hotel and stadium fees in the report. This past Spring, the TSL played its hub season at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas.
“The suits allege the eight-team league accumulated a bill of $1.1 million during its stay at the hotel, along with another tab of nearly $235,000 for six games played at the stadium.”
For the new USFL 2.0 to return, it had asked the city of Birmingham for $3.6 million to cover the cost of hosting the 43-game USFL season. The new USFL 2.0 games will be played at Protective Stadium and Legion Field between April and July 2022.
“According to the Crowne Plaza suit, The Spring League booked about 4,740 room nights over a two-month, one-week period. The bill also includes food purchased from the Hotel’s convenience kiosk, parking, banquet room use, breakfasts, and other meals.”
The report says that TSL CEO Brian Woods told the Hotel that their debts would be paid. He just needed more time.
“According to the suit, league CEO Brian Woods told the Hotel’s general manager in a mid-August email he expected the outstanding invoice to be paid by the end of that month. In September, Woods followed up with a phone call with that individual and then an email outlining a plan for payment, writing The Spring League planned on “closing a significant capital raise in the next 2-3 weeks. Accordingly, we will be using those proceeds to pay the Crowne Plaza on or before October 15 for the entire balance.”
Paying bills on time is not the first time we have heard of Brian Woods having this issue. According to reports, some players from the Spring League have still yet to be paid what they were promised. Also, some coaches were paid recently for their time in the TSL last Spring.
According to a report by our own Mike Mitchell, Woods has had issues going back to his Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL).
“Woods has had a series of lawsuits and complaints levied against him some of them through the Better Business Bureau in the past for failed payments, but Woods has been able to prove hardship financially to get out of his commitments.”
You begin to see a pattern here that we assume Fox Sports executives are well aware of and okay with.
“According to the CIB’s suit, The Spring League indicated in an emailed response it planned to pay off its debt by Oct. 20. After no payment was received, the CIB sent a follow-up letter to The Spring League on Nov. 12, with no response from league officials.”
No word on if Rice Stadium and the Hotels in Houston had all their bills paid on time. Let hope history does not repeat itself with the USFL 2.0 era in Birmingham. Football leagues are expensive, and you need a lot of capital to run them. There seem to be many broken promises made when it comes to Woods and his football leagues. Let’s hope this gets sorted out to focus on the players and games, not the business side of things.