Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Harrisburg PA’ tag

1963-1969 Harrisburg Capitols

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1969 Harrisburg Capitol-Colts ProgramAtlantic Coast Football League (1963-1969)

Born: 1963
Folded: Postseason 1969


Team Colors:

Owners: Mike Castiglia, et al.

ACFL Championships: None


The Harrisburg Capitols were a minor league football outfit in Pennsylvania’s capital city during the mid/late 1960’s. The Capitols were members of the Atlantic Coast Football League. The ACFL was a bus league with clubs clustered in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.

In 1968 and 1969 the team served as a farm club for the NFL’s Baltimore Colts and went by the name “Capitol-Colts”.

After a promising 8-3-1 debut season in 1963, the Capitols were consistently awful. The team endured six straight losing seasons from 1964 until the club’s demise, including a winless 0-11 campaign in 1967 and a 1-11 mark in 1969.

Harrisburg Capitols


Harrisburg Colts Memorabilia



Atlantic Coast Football League Media Guides

Atlantic Coast Football League Programs




Written by Drew Crossley

December 2nd, 2017 at 4:14 am

1991-2003 Harrisburg Heat

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National Professional Soccer League (1991-2003)
Major Indoor Soccer League (2001-2003)

Born: July 1991 – NPSL expansion franchise.
Folded: July 9, 2003.

Arena: State Farm Show Arena (7,600)

Team Colors: Purple, Orange, Black & White



The Harrisburg Heat were a long-running indoor soccer franchise in central Pennsylvania.  Technically an expansion franchise in the National Professional Soccer League in the fall of 1991, the club was in some ways a successor to the region’s previous NPSL entry, the Hershey Impact (1988-1991), which folded shortly before the Heat were organized in July 1991.  Heat founder Dr. Rex Herbert was a team doctor for the Impact and put together a new investor group to keep pro indoor soccer going in the area.  While the Impact played at Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, the Heat moved into the State Farm Show Arena in Harrisburg.

Key players for the Heat included:

  • Trinidadian striker Richard Chinapoo (1992-2000)
  • Canadian midfielder Gino DiFlorio (1998-2002)
  • American defender Bob Lilley (1992-1997)
  • American forward Mark Pulisic (1991-1999)

The Heat’s finest season came in 1994-95.  The team advanced to the NPSL Championship Series, where they were swept in four games by the St. Louis Ambush.

After a slow start at the box office in their inaugural season (3,114 average attendance in 1991-92), the Heat became a popular draw in Harrisburg during the mid-to-late 1990’s, usually averaging 5,000 – 6,000 fans per game each season.   By the early 2000’s though, the entire sport of indoor soccer was in a state of decline.  From 15 member franchises in 1996-97, the NPSL had only six viable clubs by the summer of 2001.  The league re-branded itself as the Major Indoor Soccer League that summer.

The Heat played to declining crowds for two further seasons in the MISL, folding in the summer of 2003.

In 2012 the Harrisburg Heat brand name was re-booted for a new team in the obscure, low-budget Professional Arena Soccer League.  The “new” Heat play in a smaller building at the Farm Show Arena and former Heat star Richard Chinapoo signed on as Head Coach.


==In Memoriam==

Former Heat defender Todd Smith died of leukemia on December 31, 2003 at age 38.  Smith was General Manager of Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution when he was diagnosed in March 2002.



National Professional Soccer League Media Guides

National Professional Soccer League Programs

2001-Present Indoor Soccer Media Guides

2001-Present Indoor Soccer Programs


1994-95 Harrisburg Hammerheads

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Continental Basketball Association (1994-1995)

Born: May 24, 1994 – The Rochester Renegades relocate to Harrisburg, PA.
Folded: February 2, 1995.

Arena: Farm Show Arena (9,000)

Team Colors:

Owners: Van Farber & Andrew Dauro


Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was the final resting place for this well-traveled Continental Basketball Association club that wandered from Bangor, ME to Worcester, MA to Pensacola, FL to Birmingham, AL to Rochester, MN during a 17-year minor league odyssey that began with the formation of the Maine Lumberjacks franchise in 1978.

By the mid-1990’s the club was in Rochester, Minnesota and losing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.  Harrisburg businessman Van Farber bought the club in May 1994 for a price reported to be between $300,000 and $400,000.  The CBA franchise was a second choice for Farber after he tried and failed to purchase Harrisburg’s existing double-A baseball team, the Harrisburg Senators one month earlier.

Harrisburg Hammerheads ProgramFarber held a name the team contest.  The winning entry of Harrisburg Hammerheads was based on the local urban legend of sharks occasionally traveling the waterways of the local Susquehanna River.  The Hammerheads played at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, which was also home to the Harrisburg Heat of the National Professional Soccer League that summer.  The building was not well suited to basketball.  The Hammerheads’ wooden basketball floor was laid directly over the dirt floor of the livestock arena.

The team drew poorly, drawing an announced 1,052 fans per game for 18 home dates.  Farber quickly ran afoul of CBA officials.  Just three months into the Hammerheads’ first season, the league expelled Farber’s franchise in mid-season on February 2, 1995 for failing to meet various financial obligations.  Farber and the CBA ended up in litigation over the failed franchise that dragged out for another few years, far longer than the Hammerheads themselves existed.

The Hammerheads played only 33 games of the planned 56-game CBA regular season in 1994-95.  They had a 15-18 record at the time the club shut down.


==Harrisburg Hammerheads Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other


1994-95 12/18/1994 vs. Oklahoma City Cavalry W 120-104 Program Roster



Continental Basketball Association Media Guides

Continental Basketball Association Programs



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