BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Jefferson County Commission and the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex held a public hearing Thursday to discuss the approval of $500,000 that will be used to lure the United States Football League to the Magic City.
Commissioner Jimmie Stephens believes completion of the deal to bring the league to Birmingham is getting closer.
According to the league’s website, the USFL will play in one host city, the location of which is yet to be announced. The teams will play a 10-game schedule, followed by semifinals between the top two teams in each division to crown the division winners. Then, the championship will be played between those two winners.
The league will feature eight teams, all of which were original members of the USFL during the league’s three-year lifespan (1983-85). The league consists of two four-team divisions:
- Michigan Panthers
- New Jersey Generals
- Philadelphia Stars
- Pittsburgh Maulers
- Birmingham Stallions
- Houston Gamblers
- New Orleans Breakers
- Tampa Bay Bandits
“We’re excited to take this next major step in the development of a new USFL,” said Brian Woods, USFL President of Football Operations in a release. “These eight teams form the core of our initial league membership and will represent an exciting brand of professional football coming this spring. We look forward to the start of our inaugural season.”
Birmingham has made a strong effort in trying to host the relaunch of the United States Football League.
In October, the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau made the first financial commitment to host a United States Football League season in the spring of 2022. The board of GBCVB agreed to contribute up to $2 million towards the cost of hosting eight teams from the league.
At the beginning of November, the Jefferson County Commission approved allocating $500,000 to bringing the United States Football League to Birmingham. The week prior, the BJCC announced that it had “identified and secured” the money necessary to bring the league to the city.
The BJCC had previously stated it would cost around $3.6 million to cover costs for Birmingham to staff and work the league’s 43-game season.
The Birmingham Parks and Recreation Board approved a memorandum of understanding in October for some USFL games to be played at Legion Field.
Currently, the city of Birmingham and the USFL is looking to have the inaugural season played at Protective Stadium, which would host up to 40 games between eight teams between next April and July. As of Friday, no announcement has been made on where the season will be held.
Fox Sports estimates the overall economic impact of the league would be around $21 million for Birmingham.