The United States Football League (USFL) will return in 2022, FOX Sports announced on Thursday.
Originally launched in 1983, the USFL consisted of 12 teams. The new USFL will begin play in the spring of 2022 with a minimum of eight teams. Additionally, the USFL announced that they retain “…rights to key original team names.”
“I’m extremely passionate about football and the opportunity to work with FOX Sports and to bring back the USFL in 2022 was an endeavor worth pursuing,” said Brian Woods, co-founder of the new USFL and founder and CEO of The Spring League (TSL). “We look forward to providing players a new opportunity to compete in a professional football league and giving fans everywhere the best football viewing product possible during what is typically a period devoid of professional football.”
FOX Sports owns a minority stake in the company that owns the USFL and FOX Sports will also serve as the official broadcast partner of the USFL.
“The relaunch of the USFL is a landmark day for football fans and FOX Sports,” said Eric Shanks, CEO and Executive Producer, FOX Sports. “Football is in our DNA and the return of this innovative and iconic league is a fantastic addition to our robust slate of football programming.”
Per the release, exact cities, teams, head coaches, and game schedules, will be announced at a later date.
The original USFL featured several stars, including quarterbacks Steve Young, Jim Kelly, Doug Flutie, and Bobby Herbert and running backs Herschel Walker and Kelvin Bryant.
Below are the original USFL teams:
- Arizona Wrangler (1983-84)/Arizona Outlaws (1985)
- Birmingham Stallions
- Boston (1983)/New Orleans (1984)/Portland Breakers (1985)
- Chicago Blitz (1983-84)
- Denver Gold
- Los Angeles Express
- Michigan Panthers
- New Jersey Generals
- Oakland Invaders
- Philadelphia (1983-84)/Baltimore Stars (1985)
- Tampa Bay Bandits
- Washington Federals (1983-84)/Orlando Renegades (1985)
- Houston Gamblers
- Jacksonville Bulls
- Memphis Showboats
- Oklahoma Outlaws
- Pittsburgh Maulers
- San Antonio Gunslingers
The USFL will join the XFL as a second spring professional football league. However, the 2022 XFL season is currently on hold as the new owners, The Rock and Redbird Capital, explore a partnership with the Canadian Football League (CFL).
The spring 2020 XFL season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the league to file for bankruptcy before later being purchased. The XFL did not play a season in 2021.