The USFL will accomplish a feat no spring football league not affiliated with the NFL has reached since the original the league that bears its name — have a second season. Executive producer Eric Shanks told Sports Business Journal the USFL will return for a second season and all eight teams from its inaugural season in 2022 will also be back.
The league will continue to hold office in Birmingham, the city where the USFL played all of its regular-season games in 2022. The central hub of Birmingham won’t be the only city where USFL teams will play next season, as the league plans to have all eight teams play in two to four markets in 2023 — with the eventual plan for all eight teams to play in their respective market.
While the USFL does have plans to expand, that isn’t expected to happen until 2024 if the league gets to a Year 3. The USFL will be competing with the XFL — which will have a relaunch in 2023 after two attempts where the league didn’t last a full season.
“We have a multiyear plan to build this football business,” Shanks said to Sports Business Journal. “If anything, the success of season one makes me even more excited than we were before going into Season 2 and beyond.”
The league will also start the week after the Masters and end July 4 weekend, same as this season. The XFL plans to begin play in February 2023 — one week after the Super Bowl — and end in early May of that season. The USFL and XFL will go head-to-head for a few weeks in late April and early May.
The USFL is the first spring football league to play a second season since the original USFL existed between 1983 to 1985. The XFL lasted just one season in 2001 while the Alliance of American Football failed to finish its season in 2019 and XFL 2.0 suffered the same fate in 2020. The United Football League lasted four seasons from 2009 to 2012, but that was played in the fall. NFL Europe lasted from 1991 to 2007, but that was affiliated with the NFL.
The next step for the USFL is to establish a fanbase across the United States, especially since there will be competition from another league in established markets.