No big spring football league has accomplished what the USFL has since it began more than 40 years ago. A winner will be chosen after the complete season of the competition.
On Sunday, July 3, the Birmingham Stallions and Philadelphia Stars will play in the USFL championship game. Once one of the clubs wins, the USFL’s debut campaign will conclude, and supporters of the spring league will start thinking about the future. Of course, some might be wondering if the USFL will even be back in 2023. They now appear to be thinking about doing that.
Contrasting with what has traditionally happened with string leagues is the USFL’s full-season success. 2019 saw the dissolution of the Alliance of American Football, which Tom Condon had only recently acquired. Despite a promising start in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic ultimately caused the XFL to shut down.
The USFL may play all 43 of its games, including the playoffs, and will likely look to improve upon its successful season in 2023. It won’t be simple for them to do that, though, as they are prepared to face real competition in 2023 and make some big league-wide modifications.
It was widely expected that the USFL will be active for one more season. According to Eric Shanks of Fox, who recently talked with the Sports Business Journal, the league will return in 2023.
We have a multi-year plan to establish this football business, says Shanks. The popularity of the first season, if anything, has made me more eager for Season 2 and beyond. According to NBC Sports president Jon Miller, who also said that the product, play quality, and viewership all met the company’s goals, NBC was on board with bringing it back for a second season.
The USFL helped us on a lot of fronts, Miller said. Is the property profitable? All things considered, I’d say it was a wise investment on our part.
It succeeded as expected, he continued, and we can’t wait to get organized when this season is over to talk about 2023.
The current USFL is the first large spring league to be profitable since the first USFL, which operated for many seasons between 1983 and 1985. The XFL’s two iterations from 2001 and 2020 each had lifespans of one year or fewer. In more recent times, the Alliance of American Football also failed to finish its inaugural season in 2019.
Of course, the choice to move forward is a big one for the USFL, but it also calls for certain changes and potential improvements to the outcome.