it was believed that if New Orleans was to be a USFL
city, it would be David Dixon, not Joseph Canizaro, who
made it a reality. Dixon, the founder of the USFL,
was a New Orleans-based antique dealer and, holding a
franchise as his compensation for putting the league
together, was expected to make New Orleans the home of
Dixon sold his franchise rights, however, and when the
Boston Breakers were put on the block after unsuccessful
efforts to secure access to local venues such as Harvard
and Foxboro Stadiums, Canizaro stepped forward and
brought the Breakers to New Orleans.
Playing in the Louisiana Superdome the Breakers of New
Orleans drew more fans than they had in Boston at tiny
Nickerson Field, but the decision to move the USFL to a
fall schedule in 1986 put Canizaro in a bind.
Knowing the Breakers couldn't compete with the beloved
Saints, Canizaro moved the team again - to Portland,
Oregon - with less than stellar results.
Breakers were to be one of nine teams to play in the
fall of 1986, but after losing a reported $17 million in
just two years, Canizaro had had enough of the USFL and
decided to make a break with the Breakers.
his USFL ownership stint, Canizaro went on to form
Firstrust Corporation, and he continues to serve as
Firstrust's chairman along with First Bank and
Trust. He also remains President and CEO of
Columbus Properties, his real estate development firm,
serves on numerous boards of local civic organizations,
and is a leading figure in the New Orleans recovery
New Orleans Breakers