Despite fielding a fairly solid team, playing in Nickerson doomed the team in Boston. The stadium had been built in 1955 (though parts of it dated to 1915), and had not aged well. It was so small that the Breakers lost money even when they sold out as visiting teams got a portion of the gate proceeds. The Breakers and Washington Federals were the only teams to draw less than 14,000 per game in 1983. The other 10 teams drew over 18,000 per game. (What fans did come to the games were generally passionate; the documentary Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL? made note of a particular Breakers victory in which fans stormed the field afterward.)
Concluding that Nickerson Field was not suitable even for temporary use, Matthews again approached Harvard, but the school refused again. He then hashed out a deal to move to Foxborough, but ultimately decided against being a tenant of an NFL team. After floating offers to move to Seattle, Honolulu and Portland, Matthews ultimately decided to move to New Orleans. He sold a 31 percent interest to real estate developer Joe Canizaro, and the move to New Orleans was approved by the USFL on October 18, 1983. Matthews later sold his remaining stake to Canizaro, but Vataha remained as team president.
The New Orleans Breakers were an American football team that played in the original United States Football League (USFL) in the mid-1980s.
Boston – New Orleans – Portland
1983 – 1986 / United States Football League
1985 / Portland Breakers
1984 / New Orleans Breakers
1983 / Boston Breakers
Breakers – The Breakers nickname is a carry over name that originated in Boston and then traveled to New Orleans which means a heavy sea wave that breaks into white foam on the shore.
Original USFL Team
Final USFL Team
Team’s Final Outlook
Breakers could not hope to compete with the Saints, and opted to move before the 1985 season rather than play a lame duck season in New Orleans.
USFL Championship 0
1985 / Civic Stadium
1984 / Louisiana Superdome
1983 / Nickerson Field
1985 / Joseph Canizaro
1984 / Joseph Canizaro and Randy Vataha
1983 / George Matthews and Randy Vataha
1983 – 1985 / Dick Coury (25 wins – 29 losses)
Who is the greatest New Orleans Breakers?
Averaged 30,557 fans (71,000 seat stadium)
*Blue is this team’s history