It wasn’t until June of this year that we learned that the USFL would be making a comeback. When the announcement was first made the details were sparse; stating only that the league was targeting a minimum of eight teams and that FOX had a stake in the new USFL. Since then FOX has created National Spring Football League, LLC to serve as a parent company to the new league. With the new company came new trademark applications, giving us a look at the USFL franchises we may see return in 2022.
In October news started circulating that FOX and the USFL were in talks with representatives from Birmingham, AL to potentially host the entirety of their comeback season. All in all, the city of Birmingham and Jefferson county approved of $3.6M that they estimate will cover the costs of hosting the USFL in 2022.
With the finances settled both parties have been working towards finalizing a deal, and it has been reported that a formal announcement would be coming from FOX this week.
Just earlier today, the new USFL social media accounts got their first action. FOX published an article on what you needed to know about the new USFL, in which confirms a lot of details that we’ve been hearing. Although we get confirmation on some items, there’s still a lot to learn about the return.
Let’s jump into it!
When we wrote about things we’d like to see in the announcement, we were hoping to see which franchises would return. Although we still don’t have a solid answer on which ones we’ll see, we do have confirmation that the USFL will return with a total of eight teams.
When FOX first announced the return of the league that stated that they were targeting a minimum of eight, but up to 10 teams in total for their relaunch. At the moment FOX has registered numerous trademarks under NSFL LLC, but it looks like we need to wait just a little longer before we get official word.
The only hints we have so far are from the USFL’s online shop where four former teams are featured. So far, the site lists merchandise for the Birmingham Stallions, Philadelphia Stars, Pittsburgh Maulers and New Orleans Breakers.
The USFL does detail that the league will be split into two divisions, North and South. Additionally, it’s also confirmed that the league will play a 10-week season and that teams in the same division will meet twice throughout the season. As expected, the two top teams from each division will play each other in a semifinal playoff matchup leading to the USFL championship the following week.
As we mentioned above, the last we heard was that the USFL and reps from Birmingham, AL have been working behind the scenes to finalize to deal to host the USFL in 2022. It seems that this is going to be news for another day, as the release only states that they will play in a central location which will be announced soon.
In the inaugural season of the USFL, all eight teams will play in one location, which will be announced soon. In the future, the USFL expects teams to play in their own markets.
If anything, we do get confirmation that the USFL is planning to move their franchises to their respective cities in the future. At the time of publication it’s being reported that beyond hosting all eight teams in 2022, Birmingham could host as many as four for season 2, with all teams moving by 2024.
We were hoping to get an official kickoff date, but we do have confirmation that the league will begin its season in April of 2022. During the discussions with Birmingham, AL it’s been reported that the league is targeting an April 15th start, which would land on a Friday.
FOX’s release on the league reveals that the USFL will play on Saturday’s and Sunday’s, with special broadcasts on specific Friday and Monday nights. This seems to align with the April 15th reports, so hopefully we’ll get official word once the league outlines the season location.
When the news started making the rounds that the USFL was looking at Birmingham, AL as a potential host it was also reported that they may be partnering with NBC to share broadcasting rights. Naturally this caused a lot of confusion among fans, mainly because FOX was a majority owner of the new USFL.
Sadly, we don’t have any more info on this just yet. It’s possible that this was just a proposal that never came to fruition, but this is what we know so far. When they touch on what days the league will be played, FOX writes that they will be an official broadcast of the partner and will air games each week.
FOX Sports is an official broadcast partner of the USFL and will air games on a weekly basis.
Maybe we’re reading way too much into this, but that statement seems to leave the door open for other broadcast partners. I suppose we’ll just need to wait and see.
Last week the XFL announced their first set of hiring’s under its new ownership group, but this week we turn our focus to the new USFL. With roughly five months until kickoff, we expected to see some hires start being announced for the new league.
Joining Woods’ is Daryl Johnston as Exec VP/Football Operations, Mike Pereira as Head of Officiating, Edward Hartman as Exec VP/Business Operations and Eric Shanks as Chair of the USFL Board.
Although we did get some of the executives on board, we’re still waiting to learn the coaches that will coming in to run the new franchises. With Brian Woods at the helm, we expect to see many of the coaches from The Spring League to come on board, but we’ll need to wait to see how that all shakes out.
You must admit, these are blockbuster hires for the new USFL. As we mentioned above, kickoff is right around the corner and there’s a lot left to accomplish before kickoff.
Now that FOX has broken the ice on the USFL, we expect to see many more announcement in the near future on the items we still don’t know yet.
What do you think the USFL will announce next? Let us know down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.