In late 1981 when the Federals were being conceived, the idea of placing a USFL franchise in the nation's capital made perfect sense - the city hadn't had a winner in football in nearly forty-five years.
Then in 1982, the Washington Redskins won the NFL championship following a 57 day players' strike, and just like that the Redskins were the team in D.C. once again, to the exclusion of the Federals or anyone else.
Had the Feds been competitive in the USFL's 1983 season its possible the team would have attracted more fans, but the Redskins success scalped the Federals before the eagle could even take off.

In a confidential memo sent to prospective limited partners, Washington Football Partners, Ltd. projected that the Federals would receive approximately $ 2.6 million in revenue from gate receipts in 1983, with that number climbing each year through 1987 when the team would allegedly generate $ 6.72 million in gate receipts.  The real numbers were nowhere near this expectation for 1983, let alone the future.

The Federals anticipated losing $ 1.2 million in 1983 and $ 1.36 million in 1984 before turning a modest $430,000 profit in 1985.  By the time 1984 had come and gone, however, estimates of the Feds losses were hovering near $10 million.

The team projected that they would draw an average of 26,000 fans per home date in 1983, 30,000 in 1984, 35,000 in 1985, 41,000 in 1986, and 48,000 by 1987.  In reality, the Federals surpassed the average for any year just one time - in their first-ever game against George Allen and his Chicago Blitz, where the team drew 38,010.  From that point forward, achieving half of the projections was a challenge.

The Federals were sold to Tampa Bay Bandits limited partner Donald Dizney, who relocated the club to Orlando, Florida, but not before a prior deal had fallen through.  Berl Bernhard had reached a preliminary agreement with Sherwood "Woody" Weiser to sell him the Federals for $ 5.5 million, the idea being that Weiser would relocate the team to Miami.  Once the USFL's owners voted to move to a fall schedule beginning in 1986 however, Weiser lost interest in the USFL - and fast.  Fortunately for Bernhard, Dizney stepped in and quickly reached a deal to buy the team.

Had Berl Bernhard's deal to sell the Federals to Sherwood Weiser gone through, the 1985 Miami team (which never reached a point where it had a nickname) would have called the legendary Orange Bowl its home.  Instead, the transplanted Federals would call the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando their new home in 1985.

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