Earlier this year it was releveled that the United States Football League (USFL) would be returning in 2022 in a partnership with FOX.
Thanks to a report by Roy S. Johnson from AL.com we get some more details on the amount FOX is putting up.
The league, which originally launched in 1983 and lasted three seasons, announced its return in June under the ownership of an entity called The Spring League. Fox Sports owns the league and has committed $150 million over three years to its operations. It’s also the league’s official broadcast partner.
This is definitely great news for the league, but is that enough to keep it afloat? Shortly after the XFL was forced into bankruptcy due to COVID, we learned that Vince McMahon had spent a total of $200M to reboot the league. That’s for the first season alone (at least as much of it that was played).
At the moment, USFL officials are meeting with the city of Birmingham, AL to play host for their inaugural season back. The proposal would see a majority of the games held at Protective Stadium, with the remaining played out of Legion Stadium. Just yesterday, the USFL and BJCC reached a tentative agreement to hold the season in Birmingham. So, it looks as if things are moving smooth in their discussions.
Protective Stadium is new to the city, hosting its first event earlier this month. The stadium is the new home of the UAB Blazers and has a max capacity of 45,000.
Legion Stadium is probably familiar with plenty of spring football fans, being the former home of the Birmingham Stallions (AAF) in 2019. Not to mention, they were also home to the Birmingham Stallions of the original USFL. Legion Stadium also boasts a max capacity of 75,000, which is a huge number to fill.
With the USFL seemingly playing out of a central location for at least its first season, this cuts a lot of costs. That being said, we could see this $150M running out fast.
The league is targeting an April 15th kickoff, with a 10-week season following. The Championship game is slated for July 3rd, with two semi-final matchups leading to the big event.
When it comes to teams, we haven’t heard anything official. But… with the opening of USFL’s online shop we may have a peak at the first four. The online shop displays merchandise for the Birmingham Stallions, Philadelphia Stars, Pittsburgh Maulers and New Orleans Breakers. Knowing that the league had trademarked a bunch of the original USFL identities, this could be just the beginning.
Either way you look at this, this is only positive news for the returning USFL.
Do you plan on tuning into the USFL in 2022? Let is know down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.