USL officials hopeful for Wilmington return - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

USL officials hopeful for Wilmington return

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Posted by Bob Bonner - email

Representatives from the United Soccer League were recently in Wilmington discussing a possible return to the Port City with Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo.

The League is hopeful to return to Wilmington as early as the 2011 season. 

"From the discussions we had it's evident they want to be here next season." said Mayor Saffo during a telephone interview.

Since the Hammerhead franchise was removed from the League at the completion of the 2009 season, USL officials have been very clear that they want a franchise in place in Wilmington.

That feeling is still there.

League CEO Alec Papadakis as well as Senior Director of the USL First Division Chris Economides discussed, among other things, lease options of Legion Stadium with Mayor Saffo.

"They are very interested in returning to Wilmington and bringing soccer back to Legion Stadium." Mayor Saffo said.  "They see a lot of potential in Wilmington."

Currently there are no investors in place to bring a USL franchise to Wilmington. 

Chuck Sullivan, who owned the team when it was removed from the League, still owns the Hammerhead brand name which means if a new team is put in place the franchise would have a different name.

Jon Berman, a prospective investor, failed in his attempt to bring soccer back to Wilmington for the 2010 season.  Mr. Berman was unable to secure local partnership which ultimately ended his bid.


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