BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA — January 25, 2022 — The United States Football League (USFL), a new professional football league launching this spring, has reached agreements with the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center Authority and the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board to play all 2022 regular-season games in The Magic City, Birmingham, Alabama. The first game is scheduled for Saturday, April 16 (6:30 PM CT), at Protective Stadium and features the New Jersey Generals against the Birmingham Stallions.
The USFL will play its games at Protective Stadium, the recently christened 45,000-seat downtown home of The University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers, and a number of games at historic Legion Field. The USFL’s agreements also provide team practice and training facilities, office space, event staff, and other amenities to operate the league from Birmingham.
“We appreciate the tremendous support and commitment from the City of Birmingham, Jefferson County, Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board, and the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau,” said Edward Hartman USFL Executive Vice President, Business Operations. “Birmingham is one of America’s most dynamic and welcoming cities with world-class facilities highlighted by the state-of-the-art Protective Stadium, now home to the USFL. Located downtown, its within walking distance to the hotels where players will reside and many other amenities. We can’t wait to make football magic in The Magic City on April 16, when the hometown Stallions take on the Generals to kick off the inaugural USFL season.”
“Birmingham is ‘The Football Capital.’ Therefore, it is only fitting that the new USFL chose it to host the league’s inaugural season,” said Alabama State Senator Jabo Waggoner. “Birmingham’s facilities to accommodate athletes, coaches, and fans are new and second to none, and I’m proud of the way our community leaders recognized the benefits and national exposure this opportunity provides. Birmingham is a city with many positives aligned for a bright future, and the USFL’s decision is clearly reflective of this direction.”
“I consider it an honor to welcome the USFL to the “Magic City,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin. “This is an amazing opportunity to promote our city on a national stage, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with this league. The USFL is not only bringing professional football to Birmingham but is committed to being a strong community partner.”
“We want to genuinely ‘Thank’ the USFL for having the confidence to entrust its inaugural season to Birmingham,” offered Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens. “Given its solid financing, national television exposure on FOX and NBC, and experienced leadership, clearly the new USFL is different, and this will be an exciting and competitive product for fans. As a community, we invested in our entertainment facilities and the new stadium, hoping to attract new opportunities, and today’s announcement is the reward. We built it, and they came!”
Tickets for the USFL’s inaugural game, featuring the Generals and Stallions at Protective Field on Saturday, April 16 (6:30 PM CT), are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com. Tickets, all general admission, are $10 for adults and kids under the age of 15 are free, with a limit of three (3) per ticketed adult. The league will announce details regarding the availability of tickets for the remainder of the season shortly.
The USFL will hold a player selection meeting from Tuesday, February 22 through Wednesday, February 23, and training camps will open on Monday, March 21. Each USFL team will carry a 38-man active roster plus a seven-man practice squad, and players will receive base compensation in addition to being eligible for victory bonuses.
The USFL will launch with eight teams split into two divisions: the Stallions, New Orleans Breakers, Houston Gamblers, and Tampa Bay Bandits in the South Division; and the Michigan Panthers, Pittsburgh Maulers, Generals, and Philadelphia Stars in the North Division. Each team will play a 10-game schedule, followed by semifinals between the top two teams in each division and a championship game between division winners. In addition, the USFL has multi-year agreements with NBC Sports and FOX Sports, establishing both networks as official broadcast partners, with plans to nationally televise every game on either NBC, USA, Peacock, FOX, or FS1.
In addition to Hartman, Brian Woods, a USFL co-founder, serves as President of Football Operations, and former Dallas Cowboys standout and longtime NFL on FOX game analyst Daryl Johnston is Executive Vice President, Football Operations. Additionally, former NFL Vice President of Officiating and FOX Sports’ NFL and college football rules analyst Mike Pereira serves as Head of Officiating.
The USFL is a new, independent football league controlled by FOX Sports through USFL HoldCo, LLC, a new business entity, and it is not associated or affiliated with the USFL of the 1980s or its owners. For more information, visit http://USFL2.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.