The XFL’s long and winding road just took a new turn—one that may solidify a spring football alternative for NFL fans: The XFL and the United States Football League announced Thursday that they plan to merge.
“The new league will establish best-in-class operations based on the most recent seasons of both leagues,” the XFL and USFL said in a joint statement. “This historic combination will anchor professional spring football with substantial capabilities and resources to ensure future growth and continue to enhance the development of the collective players, coaches, and staff that are coming together.”
The leagues noted that their planned merger is “subject to customary regulatory approvals,” and said more details regarding the new league will be announced at a later date.
XFL kicked off out of Arlington operations hub
The XFL actually had a single season in 2001 before being relaunched by its founder, World Wrestling Entertainment’s Vince McMahon, in 2018. But the league’s inaugural 2020 season was cut short by the pandemic and the XFL went into bankruptcy. That same year, an ownership group led by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, his ex-wife and longtime business partner Dany Garcia, and Gerry Cardinale of RedBird Capital Partners bought the league for $15 million.
Arlington’s Choctaw Stadium, the former home of the Texas Rangers, was selected as the XFL’s new football operations hub. In July 2022, Johnson and Garcia took part in an XFL showcase at the stadium to flash out their splashy new brand. Choctaw Stadium was also chosen as the league’s in-week performance center.
Choctaw Stadium was the home field of the Dallas Renegades in the 2023 season, which was played last February and March against rival XFL teams the DC Defenders, the Houston Roughnecks, the Orlando Guardians, the San Antonio Brahmas, the Seattle Sea Dragons, the St. Louis Battlehawks, and the Vegas Vipers.
“Our new hub allows us to provide 360-degree support for our players, both on and off the field,” Dany Garcia said in the runup to the 2022 showcase. “Around-the-clock content capture will make our players the center of a unique football ecosystem and unlock a new level of fan engagement never seen before.”
USFL was reborn in 2022 from its 1980s roots
The USFL has an even longer history. It played three seasons in the 1980s before getting a new life of its own with a spring season in 2022 and another in 2023. The USFL is currently owned by a subsidiary of the Fox Corporation. Its eight teams include the Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, Memphis Showboats, Michigan Panthers, New Jersey Generals, New Orleans Breakers, Philadelphia Stars, and Pittsburgh Maulers.
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