JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A merger of USFL teams in Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa Bay appears unlikely, but a Jacksonville-Tampa Bay hookup still is a possibility, Bulls owner Fred Bullard said Saturday.
Bullard confirmed the three-way merger was discussed at the USFL owners' meeting Tuesday in Teaneck, N.J., but he said Orlando Renegades owner Donald Dizney believed taking his team out of the Orlando would hurt his credibility with the city.
'He liked the idea, but felt he had a commitment to his community,' Bullard said.
But Bullard said he had received 'a favorable reaction from the Tampa group' concerning a possible merger of the two teams that showed thebest attendance in the USFL during the past two years.
The Tampa Bay Bandits said this year the team is looking to merge with another USFL team because of conflicts with the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
'The obvious advantage for me would be that it would bring an additional group of investors,' Bullard said. 'Plus, we would be involved with a celebrity like Burt Reynolds.'
Reynolds is part owner of the Bandits, along with John Bassett and Stephen Arky.
'We're counting on good attendance in the fall, and that's what attracts the Tampa people to us,' Bullard said.
Bullard also said he is among a group of owners that wants only 10 teams in the league next season, even if it means ESPN would no longer televise the games. ESPN has the right to drop the telecasts if the league falls below 12 members.
Bullard said he is against having a team in the Los Angeles area.
'I was against Los Angeles to begin with and I'm against Los Angeles now,' Bullard said. 'The franchise is an embarassment to the league. I don't feel that communities that don't show support should have teams.'