Daryl Johnston Responds to Fan Criticism of New USFL

Daryl Johnston Discusses Possible USFL Expansion

Yesterday the USFL finally revealed the eight team names and logos for relaunch in 2022. Up until then, we knew that the league would be playing out of a central location in 2022, presumably Birmingham, with the goal of all franchises moving to their respective cities by the third season.

After the news broke, Daryl Johnston (EVP Football Operations) joined The Blitz to talk about the upcoming USFL season.

Kicking off the interview Jason Minnix says he was “a little surprised and honestly disappointed San Antonio’s not in the mix with the UFSL, at least not at the beginning”.

Johnston states that the league is hoping to have success this time and push this (USFL) into season two and three. At which point, the league would hope to bring more teams back into the league.

He specifically mentions the support that the San Antonio Commanders had in the AAF, which shows that the fans in San Antonio want spring football… or football in general.

It’s probably a little early for speculation, especially since the league still yet to kickoff. That being said, it’s great to see that the USFL executives are seemingly looking towards the future for the league.

The group also discussed that if the league can make it past the first season that it has the opportunity to make spring football work for the first time in a long time.

When the teams names were revealed yesterday, it was noticed that none of the franchises were located on the west coast. With the USFL possibly considering expansion in the future, we think San Antonio is a no brainer.

If the USFL does expand, which cities would you like to see the league target? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.

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  1. This league has to be committed to push through even if numbers are low until they turn a profit.
    By 2030 Id like to see all original teams return plus a merger with the XFL.
    No matter what happens they have to convince the fans this league is here to stay.
    Some fans will wait and see until they invest in committing especially after UFL AAF XFL.
    So Its up to Fox and everyone else to keep tweaking until they settle on what fans respond to instead of pulling the plug if they struggle because we all know if they quit it just leaves a void for another league to pop up (MLFB has yet to launch) so they have got be in it to win it and be known as the true cousin of the NFL not a minor league but just an alternate pro league for players coaches & fans, even a league for American owners of color & gender equal in talent and respect.

  2. How about the Columbus Bulls!
    Used to be the Columbus Bulls back in the 1940 & 1941 AFL, which the Bulls won both years before WWII broke out.

  3. There’s plenty of cities deserving of a team that has been snubbed by the NFL or NFL teams have left their former cities. There’s only so much money that a family can allocate to support a pro team. I would just stay out of NFL cities IMO. Just to name a few – Memphis, San Antonio, St Louis, San Diego, Oakland, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Omaha, Portland, Louisville. I hope bringing back the USFL succeeds. I’d rather have the USFL vs XFL.

  4. Green Bay Packers public ownership is what’s needed for both the USFL and XFL moving forward.

  5. The Cleveland Bulldogs, the original name of the Cleveland football Team. they can also be the Cleveland Lakers

  6. Oakland Invaders, San Antonio Gunslingers, Jacksonville Bulls, Denver Gold, St. Louis (insert name here). All of these cities have stadiums that are ready for football.

  7. I couldn’t agree more about the USFL rather than the XFL. Being that I was 12 when the first go round for the USFL happened, I’m a bit biased.
    San Antonio has more than proven they deserve a pro team. I’d love to see the Memphis Showboats return as well. Just pumped and truly hoping to see this become a success. Fingers crossed!

  8. I’d love to see 5 non traditional cities in the USFL. They are Sacramento, Hartford ( to represent New England),: Louisville,, Omaha and Portland.

  9. I’d love to see 5 non traditional cities in the USFL. They are Sacramento, Hartford ( to represent New England),: Louisville, Omaha and Portland. It seems as if they’ll be going into NFL cities, but you will fail if you compete with the NFL cities

  10. I hope this version of the USFL succeeds and I would like to some non-traditional cities included like, Omaha Nebraska, Portland, Oregon, San Antonia, Texas, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego Calif. and Memphis, Tennessee in the mix.

  11. Oakland. The Invaders were a founder of the orginal USFL. They averaged 24,120 per game for their existence. Most importantly, Oakland is a football crazy city. The Raiders have abandoned them twice and they are likely to embrace a new Invaders team with wide open arms.

    Memphis. One of the original USFL’s most iconic teams. This was partly due to fantastic players like Reggie White but, the ShowBoats also drew an average of 31,000 per game plus the Memphis Mad Dogs (CFL), Memphis Maniax (original XFL) and the Memphis Express (AAF) have all shown that there is an untapped fan-base in southwest Tennessee.

    San Diego. Like Oakland they were shunned by their NFL team. The city is ripe for an organization to follow. I would purchase the rights, history, logo and all that from their AAF days and reestablish the San Diego Fleet. The location and the established team history would make southern California a great choice for the revamped USFL.

    Denver. The Gold were another founding member of the original USFL. They lasted the entirety of the leagues existence in their home city. Like the Broncos of the NFL, their national following wasn’t huge but, better than average. Attendance numbers were constantly solid.

    San Antonio. The San Antonio Gunslingers, San Antonio Texans (CFL) and, San Antonio Commanders (AAF) were all strong members of their respective leagues and showed there is plenty of room for multiple teams in the state of Texas.

    Arizona. The Wranglers and Outlaws were outstanding members of the original USFL. Their yearly average attendance was 23,075 and since then the Hostshots (AAF) have shown that there is still interest in spring football in the state.

    Jacksonville. Unlike teams like New Jersey and Tampa bay, the Jacksonville Bulls joined the original USFL in year two. They were in the top two in attendance during the team’s existence with an average of 45,975. While attendance isn’t everything, in this case it does show an above average interest level and, if the new league can approach anything close to 45,000 with any of its teams it’ll be in great shape.

    Possible other expansion areas…
    San Francisco. It was one of the more popular teams in the original XFL in its lone season and drew 35,005 each game. Orlando. There is obviously great interest in football in Orlando. The Renegades/ Apollos/Rage each had a dedicated fan-base and their combined yearly average attendance from their respective leagues was 23,604. That’s not bad at all. Even the UFL’s Tuskers and the Manatees (CFL) had a devoted following so, there is some spring football love down in South Florida.

    And, the St. Louis BattleHawks (UFL), Seattle Dragons (XFL), Las Vegas Outlaws (original XFL), Las Vegas Posse (CFL), Oklahoma Outlaws (original USFL) and, Omaha Nighthawks (UFL) all showed some promise in their single seasons of their respective leagues so, down the road they could be canidates. .

    Places to 100% avoid: Los Angles, Washington, New York and, Chicago. There have been multiple sprinf league teams in each of these cities and, none have done well by any measure. Currently the XFL fields teams in Los Angles, Washington and, New York. Based on history of failure and trying to avoid as much actual crossover as possible with the XFL, I would stay well away from these places when it comes to expansion.

  12. Orlando will never get a team, it’s too close to Tampa, it’s only an hour and a half from Tampa to Orlando.

  13. They are going West, San Antonio, San Diego (The LA Express become the San Diego Express), Alberquerque and Portland.

  14. Oakland won’t get a team until they get a new Stadium, Memphis will get one but not this 1st time around, they will go West. Here’s what i see what happening…. They bring the Gunslingers back to San Antonio, the Oakland Invaders become the Portland Invaders, if you knew WWII history you would know why that makes sense, The L.A. Express become the San Diego Express and the 4th team is a off the radar city, The Alburquerque Thunderbirds. Alburquerque/New Mexico is untested pro football market, I think the USFL roll the dice, If it doesn;t work then they can move them to OKC or Denver.

  15. St.Louis Scapegoats. Give them a crappy owner who blames the fans for the worst record over a 5yr span in league history then move them out west when they refuse to build him a new stadium. Scenario 2 the league names them the St. Louis Visitors. Then they wait for the owner to found his own stadium in some other city out west. The league can then change their history and retroactively rename them the Trespassers.

  16. That’s nuts. Jacksonville can’t even fill a NFL Stadium, they sure as hell won’t draw for the USFL

  17. I would like to keep it with former USFL teams to add back to the league. My expansion cities would first add back the Denver Gold who had the best attendance of former USFL teams: San Antonio Gunslingers, Oklahoma Outlaws, Arizona Wranglers, Chicago blitz, Washington Federals, Memphis Showboats and Jacksonville Bulls. I think I’d let the XFL have the west coast teams of LA and Portland and add new cities like Salt Lake City and

  18. Pacific Northwest definitely needs some representation. One team somewhere in either seattle spokane portland or boise

  19. San Antonio, Jacksonville, Memphis, OKC, Denver, Oakland. I would like to see them eventually get all of the original franchises back into the league. Very excited about the USFL.

  20. I would love to see a team in Oklahoma City. I am sure it would be supported by Oklahomans. We have supposed every team that’s has came and played. Oklahomans are passionate about there football one of the best fan based states there is.

  21. Agree 100% with bringing back the Oakland Invaders & San Antonio Gunslingers, along with other western teams in big non-NFL markets Portland & San Diego. (Earlier comment for Spokane is intriguing)

  22. Sacramento ( We had the Surge back in the 90s and Gold Miners in the early 2000s.Time again for Sac Football.

  23. Sacramento CA we have had 4 teams here mountain lions surge gold miners
    Indoor football

  24. Agree with you completely! Oklahoma needs a professional outlaw team back. This would not interfere with OU And OSU at all and I think the people here would enjoy it and support it big time!

  25. We want the Oklahoma Outlaws back. The original USFL teams should get first consideration.

  26. I’m thinking four teams for next year. Oakland Invaders, Denver Gold, Memphis Showboats and Jacksonville Bulls.
    Two divisions six teams each for a 16 game schedule in places where the old USFL thrived. The following year, four more, Chicago Blitz, San Antonio Gunslingers, Oklahoma Outlaws and one team in a new market like St. Louis, who’s been screwed twice.

  27. I think its smart to stay out of the NFL major cities for sure. Some of the inaugural cities or relocation cities are a good fit for sure. Portland (Storm?), Arizona Wranglers, Memphis Showboats, SA Gunslingers, Oklahoma Outlaws, Denver Gold. Maybe Shreveport? The CFL had the Pirates there, Great name! Possibly Jackson, Miss., Norfolk, VA? Sacramento and San Diego (which was an original location) would be good for CA. There’s no choice but to stay out of LA!

  28. Why dont you bring a team to Albuquerque NM. We have a soccer team NM United that draws about 10 to 15 K per game. Our weather is great and our population is about 1 million plus. Netflix Amazon and Kirtland AFB is expanding. We may have a Republican Governor by next week and the mayor of Albuquerque is almost done with his 2nd term. Soccer is not my cup of tea but ia new stadium was on a bond issue it just might passed. I ll even suggest a name the Albuquerque Warriors.

  29. I think one thing is sure the USFL has some real good opportunities. As they are taking this slow for the good of the league, we just hope they don’t take it too slow and allow the XFL to grab too much of a foothold. I am not too concerned about having a team in a city with a NFL team. Some places just have not shown any inkling toward so it is not worth the risk. I look more at places that have professional baseball teams as competition. Additionally, when looking at big markets, they are less likely to get deals that work for the league as it is starting. Smaller locales such Birmingham and Memphis will work better as the league tries to get advantageous deals that will allow for more than one home team. Bigger cities may not be as interested in investing in their communities as much as smaller ones will. That stated, I think New Jersey would easily support the Generals just as they have done in the past. Talk with Rutgers to see if they could do something about it. I think if they had pricing if $10, $17.50 and $25, there would be a lot more dollars then Birmingham had. They question would become the where would they stay? Real estate and rents are expensive. Could they stay in dorms? Also, based on when the XFL season runs vs the USFL season, I would discuss expansion with them. It would make more sense for Arizona to get an XFL team as the average temperature is much more suited to football fans in February through 1st week of May, vs April through the end of June. I think the last two weeks in Birmingham were rough and if you look at Birmingham in the 80s the attendance actually declined for the playoffs. Lots of good ideas. I think they really need to get on it though, before the XFL does. If they are going to use a two or three hub format, they may as well get two more franchises while they are on the cheap, meaning they will be staying in a hub location. These are just ideas. I love a lot of the options offered up. I really feel there are enough players, however coaches might be difficult to come by. The reason the USFL was strong last year was due to coaching and great heart from it’s players. The difference in quality from week one 1 to 8 was great. A little tail off in weeks 9 &10 due to the heat, but the playoffs were right back on again. We need coaches….good coaches. We can’t overpay, but we need to be logical how we approach this because we can only expand if we have the coaches. I still feel the New Orleans team should play home games at the Super Dome if we could get a fair price. It would help New Orleans that does not have a baseball team, allow for teams to play in ac when it is hot and get an idea of what you have with New Orleans as a franchise. It did well in 84. They have the Pelicans now and the Saints ain’t the Aint’s, but I think it is really worth a try. The USFL is being smart from a business perspective. They really are. I just hope as they are being conservative in their approach they also look for greatness when they can get and build that beautiful legacy.

  30. 2024 USFL Look * New Franchise in League for First Time
    North – Michigan Panthers, New Jersey Generals, Philadelphia Stars and Pittsburgh Maulers)
    South – Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers and Memphis Showboats)
    East – Chicago Blitz, Jacksonville Bulls, *Atlanta Fury & *Charlotte Flyers)
    West – Arizona Outlaws, Denver Gold, Oakland Invaders & *Seattle Thunder)

  31. I want to see the USGL return to Los Angeles. I know we have 2 NFL teams but cannot afford a minimal $300 for tickets.

  32. I would like to see teams in San Diego, Ca., Colorado Springs, Co, Boise,ID, San Antonio, TX, to provide teams into new markets into the West and provide balance to the USFL. I would also include Salt Lake City, UT. I believe Boise would be a city to be very welcoming to the USFL.

  33. Columbus Bulls, who won the 1940 & 1941 AFL Titles. The Bullies were red, orange & white.

  34. Bring Jacksonville back as the Jacksonville Sharks, a team that once played in the WFL in 1974. The Bulls name should go to a franchise in Columbus, hence the Columbus Bulls, a team that won 2 titles in the 1940-41 AFL.

  35. I would support Orlando as a USFL City. I would buy season tickets and auppprt the team.

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