Pacific Coast Professional Football League

The Pacific Coast Professional Football League (PCPFL), also known as the Pacific Coast Football League (PCFL) and Pacific Coast League (PCL) was a professional American football league based in California, USA, and competed from 1940 through 1948. One of the few minor American professional sports leagues that competed in the years of World War II, the PCPFL was regarded as a minor league of the highest level, particularly in 1940-1945, at a time in which the major National Football League did not extend further west than Chicago and Green Bay. It was also the first professional football league to have a team based in Hawaii (the Hawaiian Warriors).

Formed from the wreckage of a failed California Pro Football League, the PCPFL showcased the Los Angeles Bulldogs and the Hollywood Bears. The league became the “home” of African American football stars (including Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, and, briefly, Jackie Robinson) as the NFL had developed and enforced a color barrier in 1934 and extended until 1946.

After reaching a peak in 1945, the importance and popularity of the PCPFL declined rapidly in the post-World War years as the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and the All-America Football Conference’s Los Angeles Dons established a major league presence with games in the Coliseum. The resulting competition was devastating to the PCPFL: teams averaging over 10,000 spectators per game in 1944 and 1945 were having difficulty drawing 1000 fans in 1946.

In December 1948, the PCPFL folded. The Los Angeles Bulldogs, the only league member to have participated in every season of the league’s existence, was in such financial straits that they didn’t play the last two scheduled games in 1948, and the Hollywood Bears had become a traveling team in 1948.

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