Are Spring Football Leagues Viable?


The USFL and XFL are planning to hit the field again in 2024.

As National Football League training camps open, the United States Football League and the XFL are beginning their plans for the 2024 season and some players who are presently on NFL rosters are getting a long look from the two leagues; personnel departments because that is where some of the players will end up after being released by NFL teams. In many ways, the USFL and XFL give some players a second or third chance at making an NFL roster by getting playing experience and performing well in what really is minor league football. The XFL is planning to return to the field in 2024 despite losing an estimated $60 million. The league has eight teams in eight cities which is more than the USFL can say.

The USFL also had eight teams but played games in just four cities, Detroit, Memphis, Canton, Ohio and Birmingham, Alabama to keep costs down. The USFL is owned by FOX Sports, an entity which is part of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. Murdoch’s business took a huge hit when it settled a defamation suit for $787.5 million with election tech company Dominion Voting Systems over FOX News Channel’s claims of fraud in the 2020 US presidential race. The FOX News Channel is facing another defamation suit and how that all plays out for the USFL or other FOX related properties is unknown. After the USFL’s first season in 2022, FOX was looking for financial partners to back the USFL project. The USFL plans to play in Canton in 2024 and maybe add games in cities that have USFL teams. For the record, East Rutherford, New Jersey, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh had no teams playing in their areas. Are spring football leagues viable in the United States? The answer to that is still not settled.

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XFL owner R=Dwayne Johnson