- December 27, 2016
Major League Football, Inc., a new professional football league headquartered in Lakewood Ranch, has connected with a major investor.
The league has identified Asian Global Capital, Ltd., to provide the MLFB with operating capital as it prepares to launch its first season in the spring of 2016.
"Obviously today was a big announcement," said Nick Athan, MLFB's vice president of media relations. "Now we have the ball rolling in terms of defining our cities, our training dates and our schedule."
A release from MLFB stated, "The funding agreement is expected to include a $20 million equity purchase of MLFB common stock, a $100 million line of credit, and a right of first refusal to purchase a future MLFB franchise in Orlando, Florida, should one become available."
The announcement came less than a week since the MLFB reported that it had lost a $20 million commitment in startup funds from Clairemont Private Investment Group.
The Clairemont announcement led to a postponement of the start of a universal training camp scheduled to begin Feb. 18 at the Premier Sports Campus.
MLFB Senior Vice President Frank Murtha told the East County Observer in a previous story the funding from Clairemont wouldn't stop the league for a significant period of time. He said it was a "hiccup" and that the first season would be played.
On Wednesday, Feb. 17, Murtha no longer had the hiccups.
"We're executing our same plan," Murtha said. "We are just pushing it down the road."
He expected an announcement on new training camp dates to come within a week and he expects that camp to begin in March. Although MLFB's eight host cities have been decided, Murtha said contracts still are being signed and since the MLFB is a publicly traded company, such information can't be released until plans are finalized.
After a four-week training camp, a 10-week, regular-season schedule is expected to kick-off in April with a four-team playoff running into early July.
Murtha said the league has received tremendous support from Lakewood Ranch along with Manatee and Sarasota counties. "People have been doing their best to help us through this first year," he said.
The league had made hotel, catering and other arrangements with vendors to support its training camp, which is scheduled to bring in 640 players, plus about 100 coaches and support staff for its eight teams.
MLFB had hoped to place each team at one of its selected partner hotels. Now, it might need to utilize additional hotels and split up teams, based on room availability during the tourism and baseball seasons. Murtha said preliminary discussions show hotels will be able to support the league’s housing needs overall.
Also, the Feb. 18 release stated, "Based on MLFB's current business model, it has outlined future plans to sell off turnkey franchises to prospective franchise owners from its current, single-entity, league-ownership structure in its first two years of operations. Franchise sales of the league's teams are scheduled to open to public bidding in 2018. The funding is subject to the negotiation and execution of definitive agreements reflecting the provisions of the Letter of Intent, including customary representations, warranties and covenants of the parties and other terms and conditions appropriate to transactions of this nature. The final terms of the funding agreement have not yet been determined."
The league has a two-year television contract with American Sports Network.
The MLFB is a publicly traded, professional spring football league.