It feels like forever ago, but it was just earlier this year that we learned that the United States Football League (USFL) would be returning in 2022 on FOX. The announcement took place roughly halfway through The Spring League season, and there weren’t a lot of details. At the time the league stated they were targeting a minimum of eight teams, that would all be associated with different cities.
Today, it looks like we have some more news on how things are going.
Dylan Smith of Yellowhammer News reports that Alabama State Senator Jabo Waggoner announced to his colleagues in a moment of personal privilege that FOX Sports will hold a formal announcement next week detailing the USFL’s plans in Birmingham.
The Senate has gaveled in for the day.
In a moment of personal privilege, Senator Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) announced to the body that @FOXSports will hold a formal announcement next week detailing that the new USFL is coming to Birmingham. #alpolitics
When the money was secured last week, it was expected that everything would be ironed out in short order.
Just Yesterday, Gene Hallman (President of the Alabama Sports Council) spoke with CBS 42 and echoed these sentiments. He also gave us a better idea of the leagues timeline, stating that the USFL would start preseason and practice March 1st. This would give the USFL 46-days between preseason and their planned April 15th kickoff.
In addition to the $3.6M coming from Birmingham and Jefferson County is $150M that FOX is planning to fund the USFL over the first three seasons. $150M can and will run out fast if you don’t plan accordingly, but FOX seems to be well aware of that. With the shift to a bubble for the first season and partially for the second, they are going to be cutting a lot of costs.
When we look back at the graveyard of spring football leagues, one of the main causes of death is lack of funding. Not in every case, but in most.
At the moment there hasn’t been any official word on which teams will make a return in 2022, but we have a good idea of which ones could. Last month the USFL launched their online shop, which featured four of the original franchises. Included in the listings we saw the Birmingham Stallions (Naturally), Philadelphia Stars, Pittsburgh Maulers and New Orleans Breakers. Additionally, the USFL has trademarked a total of 15 former franchises; but may have run into some troubles with the Michigan Panthers mark from the NFL.
With the deal seemingly in the books, now we wait for the official announcement.
Are you excited about the return of the USFL? Let us know down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.