As part of the league's expansion strategy, the USFL commissioned a report from Communications Research which analyzed 17 potential expansion cities to determine which among them might be most viable for a 1984 expansion team.
San Diego, the intended home for the franchise that ultimately became the Outlaws, was seen as viable thanks to average "buying income," strong cable TV penetration in the market and year-round good weather. 
Tulsa, by contrast, wasn't even looked at by the firm as a potential site.  Had it been analyzed, its more than likely the city would have been placed in the report's list of "Not Viable" cities.

Constructed in 1930 with 14,500 seats, Skelly Field was built as the home of the University of Tulsa's Golden Hurricane football club.  In 1938 the university traded the facility to Tulsa Public Schools in exchange for an open lot, but leased the field back from the school system.  In 1947 Skelly Field was rechristened Skelly Stadium. 

Despite Tulsa not being known as a hotbed of pro football, the USFL's Oklahoma Outlaws weren't the first pro team to play at Skelly - that distinction belonged to the Houston Oilers and Dallas Texans, who met in an AFL pre-season contest in August 1960.  In 1965 Skelly Stadium was enlarged to increase its seating capacity to over 40,000, and three years later ownership of the facility was returned to the University of Tulsa.

Having been rebuffed by the city of San Diego in their efforts to place their USFL franchise there for 1984, the William Tathams (Sr. and Jr.) instead placed the team in Tulsa and Skelly - and drew an average attendance that was 7,000 less than UT's had been in 1982.  Needless to say the Outlaws weren't around long - in 1985 the team called Phoenix home.

Today, Skelly Stadium continues to serve as home for the Golden Hurricanes, albeit with a slightly reduced seating capacity of 35,542.


Tulsa, Oklahoma


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