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XFL, USFL spring football leagues will merge; how will NFL react?

Sep 28, 2023

The XFL and the USFL, two competing spring football leagues, will merge operations. Few details are available, from the new league's start date to its name, but the initial obvious takeaway is that both leagues need one another as ally, rather than competition, in order to survive.

The USFL was the first out of the gate, beginning operations in 2022 and becoming the first spring football league in nearly four decades to have a second season. While the league boasted eight teams aligned with specific cities, it played all of its debut-season games in Birmingham, Alabama. A slow rollout to other cities (including Memphis, Detroit and Canton, Ohio) began earlier this year.

The XFL began operations in February 2023, shortly after the Super Bowl. It began with a much larger geographic footprint than the USFL, with its eight teams spread out over multiple locations, including Seattle, Orlando, Washington D.C., St. Louis and three cities in Texas.

Spring leagues have struggled with a range of challenges. Both the USFL and XFL initially operated under different ownership, the USFL in the early 1980s and the XFL in the early 2000s. A 2019 league known as the Alliance of American Football folded before even finishing out its first season, and a second version of the XFL fell prey to the pandemic.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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