DETROIT — The USFL is returning to Detroit.
On Thursday, the league announced that Detroit would be the host city for two of its franchises — the Michigan Panthers and Philadelphia Stars — with games being played at Ford Field, home of the NFL's Detroit Lions.
The announcement comes roughly 40 years after Michigan won the 1983 USFL championship, coincidentally defeating Philadelphia in the title game.
"We’re back!" said Daryl Johnston, USFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. "With the help of some great partners, the USFL is making history by announcing that the Michigan Panthers have returned home in 2023 to play at Ford Field. The USFL is proud to be part of the revitalization of downtown Detroit, and we’re excited about turning up the Motown music and firing up a fan base for professional spring football in Michigan."
The Panthers and Stars will arrive in the Detroit Metro region in mid-March for the start of training camp. When the 10-week USFL regular season begins April 15, both teams will start on the road before coming to Ford Field on April 30 in the first of several weekends of professional football games in downtown Detroit.
Last season, all eight USFL teams played their regular-season games in Birmingham, Alabama. But during the playoffs in Canton, Ohio last June, the USFL announced it would expand into more cities for the 2023 season, as the league incrementally moves teams into their namesake markets until all are playing in front of hometown fans.
As part of that process, the 2023 season will have four host cities. They are:
- Detroit, hosting the Panthers and Stars
- Birmingham, hosting the Birmingham Stallions and New Orleans Breakers
- Memphis, hosting the Memphis Showboats and Houston Gamblers
- Canton, Ohio, hosting the Pittsburgh Maulers and New Jersey Generals
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.
"We’re excited to deliver high-quality and competitive professional spring football to fans all across the country who crave more football," said Johnston. "The USFL proved itself to be a stable league run by experienced football leaders who provide a fan-friendly, fun, and affordable stadium experience while being a catalyst for the evolution of football through innovative rules."
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