New pro football team could boost business in Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If you haven't heard, pro football is coming back to the Bluff City.

Memphis is one of eight cities chosen by The Alliance of American Football to be part of a new league with a 12-week season that will run from February through April starting next year.

"Pro football is a win-win and a touchdown for the city," said Ernest Strickland with The Greater Memphis Chamber.

The Chamber says the new pro team means more jobs at the Liberty Bowl and a boost for nearby bars and restaurants on game day.

"Think about the Redbirds and think about the Grizzlies. All of those sports attract people to an area," he said.

On top of that, the team is likely to make the city more attractive to young people.

"We're doing anything that we can do to add to the quality of life. The quality of life drives decisions for young people looking for a city to call home," Strickland said.

Of course, Memphis has had a number of pro football teams before. None of them lasted.

For example, you might recall The Memphis Showboats of the USFL, a league that folded after just a few seasons in the eighties.

"They were fantastic. They put on a show," said John Newcomb, who loved The Showboats and can't wait for the new team.

He thinks it'll work this time, mainly because the season starts right after the Super Bowl and gives fans more of an incredibly popular sport.

"We all want some football so this will give us another three, four or five months of football," Newcomb said.

Whether it lasts or not, he says there's nothing like a pro football game.

"It's an energy that you feel, and it'll be good to have it back. The Liberty Bowl needs it."

More details about the team are expected to be released this week, including who the team's coach will be.


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