The USFL set to kick off on April 16: Here’s what you should know about the new spring football league

In December, we told you about the upcoming United States Football League, which plans to kick off in April 2022. The spring football league will be another attempt at providing gridiron fans with an alternative to the NFL. 

The USFL took a step closer to debuting after completing its player draft. The eight-team league made its initial draft picks as teams plan for their first spring campaigns.

What is the USFL?

You may remember the USFL name from the 1980s, as the short-lived league burnt bright, but burnt out quickly. Most modern-day fans may know the name, but little else. If you were born from 1980 onwards, there is a chance you have never seen a USFL game unless you watched it via YouTube. 

The original USFL ran from 1982 to 1986 and featured 18 teams. It tried to go head-to-head with the NFL but failed.

The new USFL won’t try to go head-to-head with the NFL. Rather, the spring football league aims to be a feeder league to the NFL.

Eight teams will play in the USFL 2022. Yes, the league plans to kick off in just a few months and last longer than the AAF or XFL. The FOX television channel owns the league and will show games across its channels.

When will the USFL play?

The USFL will kick off on April 16, 2022. Unlike the AAF and XFL, the USFL won’t kick off directly after the NFL season ends. Why? The league wants to have a buffer allowing fans to miss the sport of football before games startup.

The spring football season will run from mid-April to mid-June. A playoff will follow to crown a 2022 champion. Games will be played on Saturday and Sunday, and special TV broadcasts will air on Friday and Monday. The USFL will make the spring sports season a weekend affair as it competes with MLB, NCAA basketball, NBA, NHL, and soccer for viewers.

Teams will play a 10-game schedule. Each team will play its divisional rivals twice and teams in the opposite division once. The top two teams in each division will advance to the four-team playoffs. The winner of the playoff games will progress to the USFL Championship Game.

The first USFL game of the season will be on April 16 as the New Jersey Generals play the Birmingham Stallions.

USFL 2022 teams

If you feel like the announcement of the USFL spring football league is out of nowhere, you aren’t the only one. The league announced its eight teams on November 22, 2021, with the:


  • Michigan Panthers
  • New Jersey Generals
  • Philadelphia Stars
  • Pittsburgh Maulers


  • Birmingham Stallions
  • Houston Gamblers
  • New Orleans Breakers
  • Tampa Bay Bandits

All eight team names were a part of the original USFL in the 1980s. The problem with these teams is for the USFL, is that seven of the franchises are in NFL cities.

Of course, football bettors will love the new USFL spring football league. It is another chance to wager on the gridiron game.

All home games in Birmingham

One of the strange quirks of the new USFL season will be all games being played in Birmingham. The reason for all USFL games being played in Birmingham isn’t exactly clear, however, it is likely to do with money.

The XFL and AAF closed down in back-to-back years after playing just one campaign — the AAF stopped halfway through — due to the amount of money both leagues were losing. Playing at one central location for the first season eliminates travel costs, stadium costs, training facility costs, and issues caused by COVID-19.

While all of the games in the regular season will take place in Birmingham, the USFL semifinals and  Championship Game will be played in Canton, Ohio at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The Championship Game will be played on Sunday, July 3.

Who were the top USFL Draft picks?

In late February, the USFL held its inaugural draft. Several high-profile players that are not in the NFL currently were selected. The top-8 draft picks included:

  1. Shea Patterson, QB — Michigan Panthers
  2. Jordan Ta’amu, QB — Tampa Bay Bandits
  3. Bryan Scott, QB — Philadelphia Stars
  4. Ben Holmes, QB — NJ Stars
  5. Clayton Thorson, QB — Houston Gamblers
  6. Alex McGough, QB — Birmingham Stallions
  7. Kyle Lauletta, QB — Pittsburgh Maulers
  8. Kyle Sloter, QB —  New Orleans Breakers

The USFL is set to kick off in just over a month. It will bring another form of spring football to fans across the world. Will this league stay for more than a year? That is the big question. Betting fans will have plenty of chances to wager on the new league, so stay tuned.

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