USFL 2022: Everything you need to know
With USFL's inaugural season underway, here's everything you need to know about the league.
Finally, the new United States Football League is here!
Here's everything you need to know about the new USFL:
How many teams will be in the league? How will the league be formatted?
There will be eight teams in the new USFL, split into two divisions: North and South. Each team will play a 10-game schedule, with teams in the same division playing each other twice and teams in the other division once.
The top two teams in each division will play against each other in the semifinals followed a week later by the championship game.
What are the teams?
In the North, the USFL will have the Michigan Panthers, New Jersey Generals, Philadelphia Stars and Pittsburgh Maulers.
The Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers and Tampa Bay Bandits will make up the South Division.
When will the season begin?
The 2022 USFL regular season will begin April 16 and run through mid-June, followed by the playoffs.
The first game will feature the Generals against the Stallions and will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 16. That game will air on both FOX and NBC, making it the first scheduled sporting event to air on competing broadcast networks since Super Bowl I in 1967, which was shown on both CBS and NBC.
"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," said FOX Sports CEO and Executive Producer Eric Shanks. "It’s rare when two competitors can come together and see how cooperation can lead to long-term benefit."
Tickets for the inaugural game are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com. Tickets are $10 for adults and free for kids under the age of 15. Details about tickets for other games will be announced shortly.
What will the uniforms look like?
Click here to see all of the uniforms.
Where will regular-season games be played?
In the inaugural season of the USFL, all eight teams will play in Birmingham Alabama, at both Protective Stadium and Legion Field.
"Birmingham is one of America's most dynamic and welcoming cities with world-class facilities highlighted by the state-of-the-art Protective Stadium, now home to the USFL," said Edward Hartman, USFL Executive Vice President, Business Operations. "Located downtown, it's within walking distance to the hotels where players will reside and many other amenities. We can't wait to make football magic in The Magic City on April 16, when the hometown Stallions take on the Generals to kick off the inaugural USFL season."
Where will postseason games be played?
USFL playoff games will be played in Canton, Ohio, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, a 20,000-seat facility adjacent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The semifinal contests will be held Saturday, June 25, featuring the top two teams in each division. The USFL Championship Game will be played Sunday, July 3.
"We’re excited to play our first playoffs and championship game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium," said Edward Hartman, USFL Executive Vice President, Business Operations. "It’s a beautiful stadium with all the facilities necessary to host football at the highest level, and we look forward to crowning our first champion in the shadow of the Pro Football Hall of Fame."
Are there rule changes?
The USFL has officially unveiled a few changes to the traditional football rules, designed to bolster offense and big-play potential, improve game flow, give trailing teams more scoring opportunities as time winds down, enhance player safety, and get officiating calls right in a way that’s fair for both teams.
These include potential 3-point conversions after touchdowns, changes to onside kicks and overtime, the ability for an offense to complete two forward passes on a single play, and more. Click here to see the complete modifications.
Can I bet on the USFL?
USFL wagering is legal in 27 states and Washington, D.C. (click here for the full list).
You can see the Week 1 lines here, the odds to win the championship for every team here, and find out how sportsbooks are setting lines on a brand-new league here — then head over to our three simple rules for betting on the USFL from former NFL player Geoff Schwartz.
Who will call the games?
For FOX Sports, the complete 2022 USFL broadcast team will be led by Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Curt Menefee alongside analyst Joel Klatt, the network’s longtime lead college football analyst.
Play-by-play announcer Kevin Kugler and analyst Mark Sanchez also contribute to FOX Sports’ USFL coverage. Analyst Brock Huard also weighs in from the sidelines in select USFL matchups.
Who are the USFL head coaches?
They are: Skip Holtz, Birmingham Stallions; Kirby Wilson, Pittsburgh Maulers; Mike Riley, New Jersey Generals; Todd Haley, Tampa Bay Bandits; Bart Andrus, Philadelphia Stars; Jeff Fisher, Michigan Panthers; Larry Fedora, New Orleans Breakers; and Kevin Sumlin, Houston Gamblers.
What about mascots?
Oh, you better believe we have mascots.
Can I watch the games outside of the United States?
The USFL will be broadcast in over 130 countries. For a full list and more information, click here.
Who will oversee the new USFL?
Brian Woods, the founder and CEO of The Spring League from 2017 to 2021 and a co-founder of the new USFL, will serve as the league's President of Football Operations.
Three-time Super Bowl champion and former Dallas Cowboys fullback Daryl "Moose" Johnston will serve as Executive Vice President of Football Operations.
Joining the new USFL as Head of Officiating is former NFL Vice President of Officiating and FOX Sports' NFL and College Football Rules analyst Mike Pereira. And FOX Sports’ Edward Hartman will serve as Executive Vice President of Business Operations.
"We are extremely fortunate to have this extraordinary team of experienced executives to guide the new USFL's development as we move toward launch this spring," Shanks said.
What about the officials?
The USFL will employ 35 officials, 32 of whom are members of the NFL's Officiating Development Program that provides opportunities for college-level officials who are ready to advance to professional football.
The USFL will have five crews of seven officials (referee, umpire, down judge, line judge, field judge, side judge, back judge), with two crews each working two games on any given weekend. Strong backgrounds in College Football are represented as 33 of the 35 USFL officials have worked in Power Five Conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC-12, and SEC). The all-inclusive USFL officials’ roster is also noteworthy, including 16 people of color and four women.
"The USFL will have the best officials not currently in the NFL," said Mike Pereira, USFL Head of Officiating. "Our association with the NFL Officiating Department clearly serves the USFL by supplying officials who are ready to call games at the highest level, and it also benefits the NFL by providing professional game experience for those who are just a step away from working Sundays in the fall. In fact, I expect several officials calling USFL games this spring to officiate in the NFL later this year."
What is the USFL's partnership with Strategic Education?
The USFL is partnering with Strategic Education, Inc., a leader in online education, to offer its players and league staff a tuition-free, debt-free college degree program.
USFL players and staff can enroll at Strategic Education's Strayer University and Capella University, both institutionally accredited universities that support working adults in achieving their academic goals.
Staff and players will be able to undertake tuition-free coursework online through Capella University or online and in-person at Strayer University, giving them the flexibility to pursue associate, bachelor's or master's degrees in business, healthcare, IT and education, among others.
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