On October 13, 2007, the United Football League announced it would hold its inaugural championship game over Thanksgiving weekend in 2008. The league had originally used the name "United Bowl" for the contest, but was unable to gain rights from United Indoor Football or its successor, the Indoor Football League, to use the name (the IFL continues to use the United Bowl name). In March 2008, the league chose Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas to hose the 2008 title game on the day after Thanksgiving. When the inaugural season was postponed to 2009, the game was moved to the corresponding date in 2009 and kept in Las Vegas.
The first UFL Championship Game, played on November 27, 2009, involved the Florida Tuskers, who had just finished a perfect 6-0 regular season, against the 2nd place team, the home-standing Las Vegas Locomotives. The Locos, thanks to a 33-yard field goal by Graham Gano in overtime, defeated the Tuskers by a 20-17 score. The game holds a distinction of being the UFL's first ever overtime game.
The second UFL Championship Game as held on November 27, 2010 at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska. The game site was not determined until after October 18, 2010 (after the 5th week of the regular season), with the UFL taking "advance ticket and merchandise sales, energy for all events prior to the season starting, and team record" into consideration for site selection. (After Omaha was selected, the league moved the game date to the Saturday after Thanksgiving to avoid conflicts with a Nebraska Cornhuskers home game that Friday.) The game was be a rematch of 2009; both the Las Vegas Locomotives and Florida Tuskers finished the regular season with 5-3 records. Las Vegas once again won the title with a three-point margin of victory over Florida, with the final score being 23-20 in favor of Las Vegas.
Both of the first two UFL Championship Games have been held on Thanksgiving weekend (and coincidentally on the same date, November 27). Prior to the 2010 game, league commissioner Michael Huyghue revealed that the league's season start would move to August beginning in 2011; to accommodate, the 2011 Championship Game would be moved up to October so that it would still be played one week after the regular season's conclusion. Additionally, it is yet to be seen what the format for the game will look like, either the same 1st-vs-2nd format or a game involving division champions should the league expand to at least 8 teams and split into divisions.
Championship Game resultsEdit
|Season||Date||Site||Winning Team (score)||Losing Team (score)||Winning Coach||Game MVP|
|2009||11/27/2009||Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada||Las Vegas Locomotives (20, OT)||Florida Tuskers (17)||Jim Fassel||DeDe Dorsey (Las Vegas RB)|
|2010||11/27/2010||Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium, Omaha, Nebraska||Las Vegas Locomotives (23)||Florida Tuskers (20)||Jim Fassel||Chase Clement (Las Vegas QB)|
William Hambrecht TrophyEdit
The winner of the UFL Championship Game is awarded William Hambrecht Trophy, which is named in honor of Bill Hambrecht, a co-founder of the UFL and co-owner of the Las Vegas Locomotives. The 2009 edition of the trophy was an arcing silver star (resembling the star on the UFL's logo) emerging from an upward arcing base. A new Hambrecht Trophy was unveiled in 2010; it stands 38 inches in height, is topped by a 3D silver-plated UFL football, and features plaques honoring past and future UFL champions.
- ↑ "Fan Loyalty to Help Determine Site for 2010 UFL Championship Game". United Football League. 2010-05-12. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- ↑ "New William Hambrecht Trophy to Debut During United Football League Championship Game Week", from ufl-football.com, accessed 11/22/2010