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Washington Star-News, February 19, 1974

Two WFL Teams Switched

By Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) - The World Football League having yet to play a game and seeking television contract, announced a pair of franchise shifts Monday at a meeting of its Board of Governors.

Gary Davidson, president of the new league, said the Memphis franchise would be switched to Houston and the Boston franchise would be shifted to New York.

Davidson said the WFL would hold a news conference in New York today to announce the details of a television contract. Davidson added that the league would play all of its games on Wednesday nights with one game each Thursday which will ne nationally televised.

HE SAID the league would play a 20-week schedule tentatively starting July 10 and winding up with a four-team playoff and a November 29 championship game.

The Boston franchise, originally owned by Howard Baldwin, will be operated in New York by Baldwin and Bob Schmertz. Schmertz relinquished his New York franchise, which was provisionally moved to Boston pending future action.

Davidson said the original New York franchise eventually would go to either Portland, Oregon, Mexico City, Salt Lake City or New Orleans.

As things now stand, the league will open with 12 clubs. There will be Eastern, Central and Western divisions with the three champions and the best second-place team competing in the playoffs.

The makeup of each division has yet to be determined. Other teams include Birmingham, Alabama, Chicago, Detroit, Florida, Honolulu, Philadelphia, Southern California, Toronto and Washington-Baltimore.

The moves to New York and Houston hurdled playing site problems at Boston and Memphis, which still is wooing a franchise from the long-established National Football League.

BALDWIN and Schmertz have engineered a two-year contract to play at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Memphis owner Steve Arnold, in shifting to Houston, said his club could have access to the Astrodome or Rice Stadium.

Plans for the Houston operation will be announced in that city next week, Arnold said.

Davidson said the WFL would conduct a draft of NFL players in New York on March 18-19

A decision on the exact location of the Florida franchise will be made March 1, despite reports Jacksonville has been certified over other central Florida sites.