USFL Announces An Announcement To Come, Maybe.

-John Turner

The USFL is planing on playing football again under new ownership this April for the first time in 17 years. Fox has acquired ownership rights and reached an agreement to play all 43 games in its… 2nd maiden voyage in the city of Birmingham, Alabama. Details of the league have been hard to come by so far as major media outlets and small ones alike really haven’t put out much information concerning the specifics of the league, however it is confirmed through al.com that the league is in fact planning on announcing something that we already actually do know. At some point the league would help themselves bigly by having somebody at Fox and or NBC that cares enough about their own product to try and generate a little more buzz by keeping us die hard football fans in the loop, but I suppose at the moment that’s a big ask.

Inside The Games

So far, the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau committed $2 million to the league and Birmingham and Jefferson County, each have pledged up to $500,000 to support the cost of playing the games at the newly built Protective Stadium and Legion Field. The league is getting stadium use rent for free in exchange for renting at least 40,000 hotel room nights for players, coaches, and league staff throughout the course of the season. Both stadiums will be ran by the city and will get to keep revenue stemming from concessions and parking as well as obviously provide a full weekend of jobs between the two houses as they are expected to play four games per weekend.

Alabama News Center

The league has said it will commit at least $150 million to USFL operations over three years. If that number seems a bit low to you let’s look a little closer to it. I’ll assume player contracts will be in the neighborhood of 75K to 125K per year, with the majority making closer to the lower number. At a 38 man roster that should bring the average team total salary to around $3.5 Million. I would like to think each team can get a full coaching staff together for around $2.5 Million. That puts a team on the field for roughly $6 Million or less before operating costs. If $6M multiplied by eight teams comes to 48 million a year, they’re in luck. NBC has agreed to pay the league, wait for it… $150 million over three years, which comes out to covering team payrolls by a frog hair. It ain’t Elon Musk money, but it’s a start.

WBRC

From AL, “The BJCC(Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center) estimates costs to be $3,666.960 to host the league in a “bubble-like format”. That includes weekly overhead ($1,019,600), weekly game day staffing ($1,436,150), weekly services provided by the City of Birmingham ($635,800), and equipment and labor for field conversions ($1,091,500).” I find it enlightening to know that the cities understands that in order to entice the league to want Birmingham as the host city it was going to have to meet the league halfway so to speak. What’s better for both parties is that doesn’t stop there. The city has gone a step further by being willing to operate the daily operations while employing all necessary personnel for league events and games at said stadiums, not only in order to recoup investment into the league, but provide opportunities for the citizens of Birmingham.

Wired

With all that said, the league has announced that it will make the announcement at Proactive Stadium to announce the official deal with the city, only it isn’t going to be streamed, therefore not viewable to us die hards across the country. It is perhaps possible a local news outlet shows up and we see it via some Birmingham outlet later on, however you’d think an investment of $100M between two major networks would call for a little more professionalism and attention, but that’s none of my business. Perhaps they have a plan and some surprises up their sleeves, but time will tell. They also could very well get something in place to start streaming, broadcasting, and putting out more information about the league between now and then, so who knows.

FoxBet

Here’s a few things we don’t know: How much are the players getting paid? Who are the other four coaches? Have the first four in the door assembled staffs yet? Has the league reach any agreements with sponsors of any kind? Has the league been in contact with the XFL or the CFL? What company is designing the uniforms? Will Fox and or NBC offer any pre game and post game shows? Has the league added the league to FoxBet for the purpose of being able to bet on the games? Will the league be showing highlights of the USFL 1.0? Will the league be bringing in some old players and coaches associated with the first run to serve as team ambassadors and or league staff in any way? We’re about 90 days away from kickoff with still a ton of unknowns.

Tampa Bay Times

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Feature photo: Fox

3 thoughts on “USFL Announces An Announcement To Come, Maybe.

  • January 19, 2022 at 11:05 pm
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    These questions are right on the mark. But there are so many more. Now… given the failed track record of most spring league ventures. my concern as an expert is that NONE of the afore listed questions have been answered, PARTICLARLY NOT AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET. i understand the league had to utilize it’s TV advertising in the months in which it did, but, we are still looking at an empty picture. I for one am waiting impatiently for answers, organization, personnel, SOMETHING. The longer this process takes, the more dis-heartened am I, who is one of the world’s leading proponents of spring leagues of professional football.

  • January 20, 2022 at 10:41 am
    Permalink

    I would appreciate being kept in the know at; Seattle DRAGONS REALM and at; The USFL Washington FEDERALS on Facebook, as well! Thank you
    Russell Jb Palmer (Profile in a wheelchair)
    Russelljbp Palmer (Profile in my Grey Topper Hat on Facebook)

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