to its 1984 expansion, the USFL commissioned a survey of
17 potential expansion locations, requesting
recommendations on the viability of each to support a
USFL franchise. Cities such as Pittsburgh,
Minneapolis, Seattle and Houston were seen as
potentially viable locations for USFL teams. San
Antonio, well, wasn't.
Clinton Manges would not be denied, however, laying on a
heavy-duty sales pitch to existing owners considering
new franchise locations. In the end the owners,
seeing Manges balance sheet and wanting to expand to 18
teams for 1984, essentially said "Why not?"
and admitted the San Antonio Gunslingers as the USFL's
17th franchise. They should have come up with an
answer to the "Why not?" question.
ran the Gunslingers on a shoe-string in every sense of
the word: from playing games at the not-so comfy
Alamo Stadium (not to be confused with the Alamo Bowl,
which hadn't been built yet), to having the team's
administrative offices in a double-wide trailer outside
the stadium, the Gunslingers were far from a first-class
operation. This would be reflected in the team's
performance on the field as well, as a 7-11-0 debut
season in 1984 would degrade to 5-13-0 in 1985, with
only the league-operated L.A. Express preventing the
'Slingers from finishing 7th in a 7-team Western
simply stopped paying the Gunslingers bills with about a
month remaining in the 1985 season, with members of his
office staff reportedly avoiding players looking for
their paychecks by crawling out the windows of the
double-wide "offices" of the team.
Having seen enough, in July 1985 USFL Commissioner Harry
Usher ordered Manges to make restitution in full for all
outstanding team debts. When Manges didn't pony up
the dough after 15 days, the Gunslingers became the only
USFL franchise to be revoked.
San Antonio Gunslingers