USFL talks expanding to other cities for future seasons
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Leaders announced the USFL will be back for a second season, but the league is looking to expand by playing in more cities than just Birmingham.
The Stallions are in the championship game this week, so the season is not over yet, but leaders are already gearing up for season two and even season three.
“We saw the impact that the USFL had for Birmingham,” USFL’s Executive Vice President for Football Operations Daryl Johnston said.
Protective Stadium said they saw up to 20,000 fans filling the stands when the Birmingham Stallions played.
“The energy inside Protective Stadium is very very different when the Stallions are playing as opposed to when some of our other teams are playing,” Johnston said.
USFL leaders are looking to bring that excitement to other cities in season two, hoping to make the league even more popular.
“As the year progressed, we actually started to see an uptick for Michigan and New Jersey and Houston, the other teams,” Johnston said. “The city of Birmingham started saying ‘hey, if Birmingham isn’t playing, I want to go see somebody else, I want to see those other games.’ We know how important that is and we would love to be able to do that in more than one location next year.”
FOX Sports CEO Eric Shanks said that the eight teams will be based in two or four cities, but no word on exactly where yet. Johnston said Shanks comments on expanding are something to look forward to past year two.
“I think the one thing that is going to excite everybody in our league and our family is Eric is not just talking about year two, but beyond year two,” Johnston said. “This is the opportunity that we have been waiting for, when you have somebody like that say we aren’t only looking at year two, but we are pressed on for year three.”
“There’s a lot of different areas we feel excited about in year two,” he said. “It’ s up to us to work as hard as we did in year one to make sure we keep pushing that forward.”
Shank said we can expect to see roughly the same schedule timeline for next season.
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