New Game Plan

More pro football in the fall

Since the United States Football League started play in 1983, the high-rolling owners of its 18 teams have each bet a fortune on the proposition that fans would flock to professional football in the spring and summer, when the air is traditionally filled with pop-ups and homers rather than punts and passes. So far, the new boys of summer have drawn disappointing crowds, suffered tepid television ratings and piled up losses of $80 million in 1984 alone. Meeting in Chicago last week, the owners decided that the only way to play for keeps is to...

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