January 14, 2011

Voodoo return under new management

The New Orleans Voodoo of the Arena Football League return to the New Orleans Arena on March 11, and have opened ticket sales.

Danny Wimprine, a New Orleans native, former University of Memphis, AFL, Voodoo and CFL quarterback, will return as the team's quarterback.  Wimprine was the quarterback of the 2008 New Orleans Voodoo team. 

Denham Springs native and former Tulane QB Lester Ricard is also on the roster.  Clark HS product and former Saints WR Derrick Lewis is also on the roster, among 20 Louisiana natives on the 35-man roster.

The Voodoo are under new ownership and management, and no longer associated with the Saints or the Benson family.  The previous incarnation of the Arena football team was owned by Tom Benson, run by Rita Benson and shared personnel staff and facilities with the Saints.

The AFL as a sports entity itself was also reborn last year when a number of its teams died and it merged with the smaller-market AFL2.  The old Arena Football League declared bankruptcy in 2009 after the season was canceled, but the new league played in 15 cities in 2010.

Meanwhile, another spring football league, the United Football League, appears to be in fiscal strife after one of its owners and investors, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, sued the league over overdue loan payments.  The players have yet to receive all of their game checks from a season that ended in late November.  It is also catching heat from player agents because of overdue payment on agent fees, and one of its four franchises moved from Orlando, Florida to Norfolk, Virginia.

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