The story of the Sacramento Mountain Lions football team

Remember the UFL?


Mountain Lions players take the field.

Photo by Daren Hall via United Football League

Table of Contents

Super Bowl LVII kicks off this Sunday, but we’re really excited about pro football’s return to Sacramento with Major League Football.

The new, 22-team pro league doesn’t start until the fall — and Sacramento’s club doesn’t have a name yet. But with hype already in full force, let’s look back at Sacramento’s last gridiron squad — the Sacramento Mountain Lions (cue the copyright-free NFL Films-esque music).

🏈 The story

As part of the second launch of the United Football League, the Mountain Lions began their life as the California Redwoods (oh snap!) in the fall of 2009, putting together a 2-4 record in the inaugural season, where home games were played in San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

Under an ownership group that included Paul Pelosi and George Zimmer (you know, the Men’s Warehouse guy), the team permanently relocated to Sacramento the following season and adopted the Mountain Lions moniker — promptly mustering up a meager 4-4 campaign in 2010.

The team was unable to find a high level of success, ending the truncated 2011 season at 2-3. Legal and financial problems plagued the league, forcing its unceremonious end before the 2012 season could kick off.

🏈 The stars

Some of the team’s notable personnel include (nicknames our own):

While we’re sad the team never saw the on-field success that some of our city’s other football teams have enjoyed, the fact that the team played its first home game in front of a reported 20,000 fans excites us for what the future of football may look like in the City of Trees.

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