USFL unveils its eight franchises in league reincarnation, set to begin play in Spring 2022

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The United States Football League is ready to give spring football another try, and Monday the eight teams that will open their inaugural season in the spring of 2022 were, revealed on Fox Sports. The league chose eight franchises that were also in the original USFL, which ran from 1983 to 1986, and retained the rights to the major original team names.

These are the eight teams that will play in 2022. Four in the North Division and four in the South Division:

NORTHERN DEPARTMENT
Michigan Panthers
New Jersey Generals
Philadelphia Stars
Pittsburgh Maulers

SOUTHERN DIVISION
Birmingham stallions
Houston gamblers
New Orleans Breakers
Tampa Bay Bandits

All eight teams play in one location in the first season. The logos have been updated for the new league and Fox Sports explained that the central location will be announced at a later date. The league will begin play in April 2022, with matches played every Saturday and Sunday for a 10-game season.

The USFL is the third attempt at spring football in the past four years, hoping to stay one season after the Alliance of American Football collapsed in 2019 due to financial problems and the XFL was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (the XFL is now targeting 2023 for a return). The USFL originally debuted in 1983 and lasted three seasons.

The original USFL launched the careers of Herschel Walker, Reggie White, and many others because of competitive salaries that were better than what NFL players were earning at the time. But the lack of a harsh salary cap led to unsustainable payrolls that contributed to the destruction of the league. The competition started with 12 teams and had a territorial design, to load rosters with well-known local collegiate stars to attract fans.

That version of the USFL closed down in 1986. It had voted to move from a spring to fall schedule to eventually compete with the NFL — an effort to force a merger between the leagues. The USFL won an antitrust lawsuit against the league for violating anti-monopoly laws, but the USFL won just $1 — and closed in the following months.

Fox Sports will serve as the league’s first broadcast partner.

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