The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 5, 2013

Arena still open to football

Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — The 2013 Ultimate Indoor Football League season is under way ... just not in Johnstown.

Last year, the Johnstown Generals competed in the fledgling league, but the franchise quit operations after several tumultuous months.

Despite the struggles, the Cambria County War Memorial Arena still cleared $11,018 combined from all Generals games, according to a recent audit conducted by Zelenkofske Axelrod LLC.

So, even though it was Johnstown’s fourth indoor football team to cease operations since 2000, arena representatives would be open to the possibility of getting another franchise if the situation appeared stable and potentially profitable.

“I think the arena, in the right situation, is always interested in starting partnerships,” said the War Memorial’s acting general manager, Tom Grenell.

“Anything that could sell tickets, we would probably be interested in developing a relationship.”

Johnstown finished with a 2-6 record in 2012.

At one point, the league suspended the franchise after the cash-strapped Generals canceled two home games. Players were not paid for weeks.

Head coach  Quenteen Robinson, who was part of the city’s three previous failed indoor teams – the Jackals, J-Dogs and Riverhawks – quit toward the end of the season, saying “This is definitely as bad as I’ve seen it.”

Owner Jeff Bollinger called the league “a joke” when the suspension occurred in May.

Bollinger felt confident he could keep the Generals in Johnstown even if not associated with the UIFL.

No arrangement materialized, though.

Neither Bollinger nor any UIFL representative could immediately be reached for comment.

“I believe the Generals are no longer in business, leaving us with no team,” Grenell said.

The Generals were one of 10 UIFL franchises in 2012. There are seven this season with only two carryovers from last year: The Florida Tarpons and  Lakeland Raiders.

The schedule started when the Raiders visited the Georgia Rampage on Monday.

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