USFL, XFL combine to form United Football League

By Kevin Kelley -

With the merger of the USFL and XFL approved, the new combined entity will be called the United Football League (UFL), it was announced Sunday.

The 2024 UFL season will kickoff on Saturday, March 30, 2024 with a matchup between the 2023 champions, the Arlington Renegades (XFL) and Birmingham Stallions (USFL).

Russ Brandon, former President and CEO of the XFL, will lead the UFL as President and CEO, while Daryl Johnston, former USFL President of Football Operations, will lead football operations for the new combined league.

According to a report from the Washington Post, five XFL teams — the D.C. Defenders, Houston Roughnecks, San Antonio Brahmas, St. Louis Battlehawks and Arlington Renegades — will join three USFL teams, the Birmingham Stallions, Memphis Showboats, and Michigan Panthers, which will form the new eight-team league.

Below are statements released today on new United Football League:

Eric Shanks – Chief Executive Officer and Executive Producer of FOX Sports
“FOX is football, and the success of the USFL has proven that there’s a bright future for spring football. The opportunity to bring together our two leagues – each with a commitment to advancing broadcast practices, rule innovations and the community – only furthers the potential of the United Football League and solidifies its spot on the sports calendar.”

Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN
“The United Football League – a powerful combination of the XFL and USFL – will provide passionate sports fans with an entertaining, innovative, and action-packed season,” Pitaro said. “With compelling storytelling across traditional and digital platforms, fan-friendly innovations, and tremendous reach, this visionary league is well-positioned, and we look forward to our continued collaboration.”

Dany Garcia – Founder, CEO and Chairwoman of The Garcia Companies
“This new venture is possible because of a shared visionary mindset, a profound passion for the game, and first-hand experience living and creating the opportunities that football makes possible. As a unified spring league, we are able to deepen our commitment to unlocking and surpassing the dreams of our players, coaches, staff and fans. This league represents continued legacy and evolution, and we look forward to building the universe of spring football.”

Dwayne Johnson – Founder and CEO of Seven Bucks Companies
“From day one, our mission has been to expand the game of football and be a league of opportunity, culture and innovation. As we come together to create the UFL, we can build something powerful, exciting and very cool for football fans – a spring league with lasting impact for all the players with a dream to play pro football and the ‘hardest workers in the room’ mentality to make their dreams come true.”

Gerry Cardinale – Founder and Managing Partner of RedBird Capital Partners
“When you combine the entertainment and marketing expertise of Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia, the broadcast and network reach of FOX and ESPN, and the strategic capital and company building mentality of RedBird, there is a tremendous opportunity to achieve something unique – a valuable and scalable live event entertainment platform that will continue to work closely with the NFL on innovation and player development and have a legitimate shot at becoming one of the top professional leagues in the country after the big four. ”

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Comments (3)

This will never last because almost all the teams are in the Deep South. There will be no national interest. I am assuming all games will be played in one or two stadiums?

I don’t know St. Louis, Michigan, and Washington DC were in the Deep South. Methinks geography wasn’t your forte