Birmingham, Alabama, is close to becoming the host for the relaunched USFL this spring after a city council vote on Tuesday night.
A resolution to allow the city and Birmingham Park and Recreation Board to finalize an agreement with the USFL was approved as long as the agreement does not exceed $500,000. The deal would allow the spring football league, popular in the early 1980s and returning this year to try and capitalize on nostaglia, to have games at both the new Protective Stadium and the historic Legion Field as well as have police, fire and rescue on hand at games.
“I am very excited today that we did pass the last hurdle of bringing the USFL to the city of Birmingham,” Birmingham City Council President Wardine Alexander told CBS 42 News. “Not only will it bring a great economic impact to our city, but it also gives us an opportunity to tell the world more about the city of Birmingham and what we are doing.”
Gene Hallman, president of the Alabama Sports Council, told ABC42 in October that discussions were close to being finalized and Birmingham would get “50,000 room nights from the league, to put their players and staff up for that period of time. A huge economic impact for the retail sector here in Jefferson County.”
Fox, which has a minority stake in the league, said the 2022 season will be in one market, then go to home markets in resulting seasons. The eight teams will be the Philadelphia Stars, New Jersey Generals, Pittsburgh Maulers, Michigan Panthers, Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers and Tampa Bay Bandits. The season will begin in mid-April and run through mid-June, followed by the playoffs.
“Having both facilities allows us as the city of Birmingham to host events like this, to host the launch of USFL that we might not be able to because of conflicts with just having one stadium,” said City Councilor Hunter Williams. “Not only the players and potential fan base, but all of the operations and logistics will be staying the entire season in the city of Birmingham in our hotels, eating in our restaurants. We are going to be able to have advertising spots specifically for the city of Birmingham and Birmingham metro area, bringing awareness to our city.”