CANTON, Ohio — At a press conference here on Wednesday, USFL and Hall of Fame Village leaders announced that Canton will be the host site for two teams during the upcoming regular season, as well as the North Division Playoff Game in late June and USFL Championship Game in early July. The announcement comes six months after the Hall of Fame Village hosted USFL postseason games during the professional spring football league’s first season.
"The USFL is excited that the Pittsburgh Maulers and the New Jersey Generals will practice and play games in Canton during the 2023 regular season," said Daryl Johnston, USFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. "The outstanding regional support we received during our first postseason from football fans in Ohio and Pennsylvania, including the great city of Pittsburgh, coupled with our successful partnership with the Hall of Fame Village, led to this moment."
The Maulers and Generals will face off in Canton’s first regular season game on Sunday, April 23. The North Division Playoff Game and USFL Championship Game will also return to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium with dates and times to be announced later. Fans can pre-register for USFL Canton game tickets via Ticketmaster to make a deposit for $25 and lock in priority access, or visit theUSFL.com for more information.
"After the incredible response from football fans during last year’s USFL postseason, we’re thrilled to expand our partnership by hosting regular season games in 2023," said Michael Crawford, Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Company Chief Executive Officer. "The USFL is a fan-first league, so we’re creating a fun and affordable entertainment destination here in Canton where football fans can cheer on the Pittsburgh Maulers, New Jersey Generals, and other USFL teams while experiencing a wide variety of programming and activities throughout the Hall of Fame Village before and after games."
New Pittsburgh Maulers head coach Ray Horton, who was hired by the USFL earlier this month, sees this move to Canton in 2023 as an opportunity to build a regional fan base.
"Because I’ve been a defensive coach for both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns, I know how passionate football fans are in Western Pennsylvania and Northeast Ohio," said Horton. "As the USFL works to eventually move the Maulers into Pittsburgh, playing the 2023 regular season games in Canton presents an incredible opportunity for fans throughout the region to check us out and see first-hand the high-quality professional football being played in the USFL. My staff and I are working tirelessly to build a championship-caliber team, so we’re excited about having fans visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame stadium to have a fun time and hopefully become lifelong Maulers fans."
While USFL officials said they remain committed to incrementally placing all teams into their namesake markets, expanding play in Canton with two iconic franchises continues building a regional fan base, keeps the brand in the national consciousness, and strengthens the league’s partnership with the Hall of Fame Village in preparation to bring postseason games back to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
The USFL is the first major professional spring football league in nearly 40 years to complete a successful inaugural season and return for Season 2. During the USFL’s 10-week regular season in 2022, all eight teams were hosted by the City of Birmingham, Alabama. Last June during the playoffs in Canton, the league announced it would expand into more markets for the 2023 season. In addition to Canton hosting the Maulers and Generals, the USFL previously announced that the Birmingham Stallions and New Orleans Breakers will be hosted in Birmingham, and the Memphis Showboats and Houston Gamblers will be hosted in Memphis, Tenn.
"In 2023, the USFL is proud to bring high-quality and competitive professional football to Canton, Birmingham, and Memphis," said Johnston. "We couldn’t be more excited for the kick-off of USFL Season 2 in April."
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