After months of speculation and negotiations, the United States Football League (USFL) is coming to Birmingham this spring.
USFL officials held a news conference today to formally announce the league has reached agreements with the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center Authority and the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board to play all 2022 regular-season games in Birmingham.
A total of 43 regular and postseason games will be played in the Magic City at Protective Stadium and Legion Field. The USFL’s agreements also provide team practice and training facilities, office space, event staff, and other amenities to operate the league from Birmingham.
Support By Major Networks
So who is going to carry all these games? Both NBC Sports and FOX Sports have multi-year agreements with the USFL to carry all the games.
The league will release a comprehensive television schedule shortly. Here is a breakdown on the number of games to be played on each network:
NBC Sports will present 22 USFL games in 2022 on:
- NBC – 9 games
- USA Network – 9 games
- Peacock – 4 games
FOX Sports 22 games will be split:
- FOX – 14 games
- FS1 – 8 games
About the League
The USFL will launch with eight teams split into two divisions:
- The South Division
- The Birmingham Stallions
- New Orleans Breakers
- Houston Gamblers
- Tampa Bay Bandits
- The North Division:
- The Michigan Panthers
- Pittsburgh Maulers
- New Jersey Generals
- Philadelphia Stars
Each team will play a 10-game schedule, followed by semifinals between the top two teams in each division and a championship game between division winners.
Mark Your Calendars – April 16th
Along with the league launch, the USFL announced they are playing the inaugural game between the hometown favorites—Birmingham Stallions against the New Jersey Generals on April 16 at Protective Stadium.
The first game will be televised simultaneously by Fox Sports and NBC—the first time the competing networks have collaborated on a sports broadcast since Super Bowl I aired on NBC and CBS January 15, 1967.
“The first game played in any new league is itself historical and having the USFL’s inaugural game simulcast by NBC and FOX makes it even more so,” FOX Sports CEO and Executive Producer Eric Shanks said. “It’s rare when two competitors can come together and see how cooperation can lead to long-term benefit, and it wouldn’t be possible without having terrific relationships with Pete, Jon Miller, and so many others at NBC Sports.”
In addition to representatives from the USFL and the sports networks, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, Council President Wardine Alexander, Jefferson County Commissioner Jimmie Stephens, State Senators Jabo Waggoner and Rodger Smitherman spoke at the news conference.
Wrapping up the event was new Birmingham Stallions Head Coach Skip Holtz who declared, “The Birmingham Stallions are back!”
“What an awesome, awesome day to see the excitement, to see the energy and enthusiasm. You’re going to have the entire USFL seen around the world on Fox and NBC. But you are also going to see the city of Birmingham and all the people that have made this work and the exposure that it’s going to bring to the city,” Holtz added.
Tickets are now on sale at usfl2.com or ticketmaster