Last week it was revealed that the Unites States Football League (USFL) was in talks with Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center (BJCC) to host the 2022 season in the city. A majority of the games would take place at Protective Stadium, with the remaining held at Legion Field.
Earlier this week, the board for the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau board agreed to commit up to $2M to bring the USFL to Birmingham.
According to CBS 42, the BJCC still needs $1.6M to cover the 43-game day staffing, equipment, and field labor during the 2022 season.
The USFL is owned by FOX under National Spring Football League (NSFL) LLC, which is putting aside $150M for the league over the next three years. The hope, it seems, is that independent investors will step in to help make this a reality.
I think the remainder of the funding will come primarily from the public sector and maybe a little from the private sector, so it’s a combination of both with most of it being led by the public sector,” said Gene Hallman, president and CEO of the Bruno Event Team.
Something to mention in all of this, 2022 is just the beginning. If a deal is struck, the USFL would host as many as four teams in Birmingham in 2023; with hopes to have all eight franchises in their respective cities by the third season.
Although the USFL is owned by FOX, it also looks like the ownership is in the works of splitting the broadcasts between FOX, FS1, NBC and USA. This is another potential positive for the city of Birmingham. Part of the tentative agreement would see two on-air spots for Birmingham, giving the city great exposure on national television.
Beyond the potential exposure, the city is sure to bring it a lot of money from the hotels, meals, entertainment, etc. from all the USFL staff and fans during the season.
Currently, the league is targeting an April 15th kickoff with a 10-week season. There would be two semi-final matchups, leading to a championship game on July 3rd. Again, this is still in the works, so these dates may change slightly.
All parties were hoping to have a deal finalized by today, but city reps have indicated that it’s more likely we’ll hear something next week.
No matter how you look at it, it seems like everyone is interested in making this happen. We’d expect that the finances will be sorted shortly, but we’ll keep you posted as we learn more on the situation.
What do you think about Birmingham hosting the USFL in 2022? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.