BY RYAN ABER, Staff Writer, email@example.com •
Modified: November 17, 2010 at 6:34 am •
Published: November 16, 2010
The Lingerie Football League will not be expanding to Oklahoma City.
LFL Chairman Mitchell Mortaza said in a statement Tuesday that the league had abandoned its plans for a team in the city after comments perceived to be critical of the league from Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett.
Cornett said he learned of the leagueâ€™s decision Tuesday evening.
â€œI didnâ€™t really have any,â€ Cornett said of his reaction before reiterating what heâ€™d said last week. â€œIâ€™m against it for too many reasons to list specifically.â€
Cornett was reported to have said he wouldnâ€™t allow the league to play in a city-owned venue, but told The Oklahoman that he didnâ€™t have the power to single-handedly stop the league but remained against it.
Mortaza continued to focus on those reported statements in announcing the move Tuesday.
â€œDue to blatant negative statements Mayor Cornett has made and his influence over the governing body that would ultimately decide whether the LFL could lease the Cox Convention Center or Oklahoma City Arena, we have sadly chosen to no longer explore OKC as an expansion market for the LFL,â€ Mortaza said. â€œIt is unfortunate, especially considering over 70 percent of Oklahomans polled on The Oklahomanâ€™s website disagreed with Mayor Cornettâ€™s stance.â€
The Oklahomanâ€™s online poll is voluntary and unscientific.
The league was looking to expand into Oklahoma City for the 2011 season, which is scheduled to begin in August.
If the league wanted to stay in the state, Tulsa isnâ€™t a likely choice either, Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett told the Tulsa World on Tuesday.
â€œI donâ€™t think thatâ€™s anything (Tulsa) is going to want to have,â€ Bartlett told the paper. â€œWomen running around in their underwear tackling one another. Itâ€™s like mud wrestling.â€
Players play in hockey-style helmets, elbow pads, bras, panties and garters.
The league, which this season has some of its games televised on MTV2, began in 2004 as the pay-per-view Lingerie Bowl during halftime of the Super Bowl.