Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Bill Harris State Fair Arena’ tag

1991-1992 Birmingham Bandits

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Birmingham BanditsContinental Basketball Association (1991-1992)

Born: May 1, 1991 – The Pensacola Tornados relocate to Birmingham, AL
Moved: May 28, 1992 (Rochester Renegade)

Arena: Bill Harris State Fair Arena

Team Colors:

Owner: Tom McMillan

CBA Championships: None


The Birmingham Bandits reside in our One-Year Wonder file of doomed minor league basketball teams.

Alabama businessman Tom McMillan and his wife Jane acquired the Pensacola Tornados franchise in the Continental Basketball Association in June 1989.  The Tornados routinely dwelled near the bottom of the CBA box office rankings, so McMillan and wife moved the team to Birmingham in the spring of 1991.  The team fared even worse in Alabama, finishing dead last in attendance in the 17-team league during the 1991-92 winter season.

On the court, the Bandits were reasonably competitive.  The team finished the regular season 25-31, which was good enough to sneak into the 1992 CBA playoffs. The Bandits were eliminated by the Quad City Thunder in the quarterfinal round in March 1992.  By this time, McMillan was actively seeking to unload the team to anyone who might take it.

McMillan announced a deal to sell the team to Rochester, Minnesota interests in May 1992.  As originally announced, McMillan would hold onto a token stake in the team, which would henceforth be known as the Rochester Renegade. However, his new investors quickly backed away, leaving the Alabaman in control of the money losing club yet again.  McMillan finally managed to get out of the CBA in 1994, selling the former Tornados/Bandits/Renegade franchise to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania man who promptly capsized it within the space of nine months.



Continental Basketball Association Media Guides

Continental Basketball Association Programs





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