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XFL, USFL merge to create the new United Football League

XFL co-owners Dany Garcia and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson first announced the merger on FOX NFL Sunday.
XFL, USFL merge to create the new United Football League
Posted at 1:18 PM, Dec 31, 2023

The XFL and U.S. Football League (USFL) announced Sunday they are merging to become the United Football League, a spring football league that will kick off its first joint season on March 30, 2024.

XFL co-owners Dany Garcia and Dwayne Johnson first announced the merger on FOX NFL Sunday. 

Russ Brandon, former president and CEO of the XFL, will lead the newly-formed UFL as president and CEO. Daryl Johnston, former USFL President of Football Operations, will lead the football operations of the new league.

"From day one, our mission has been to expand the game of football and be a league of opportunity, culture and innovation," Johnson said in a statement to ESPN. "As we come together to create the UFL, we can build something powerful, exciting and very cool for football fans -- a spring league with lasting impact for all the players with a dream to play pro football and the 'hardest workers in the room' mentality to make their dreams come true."

The details on which teams will be included in the merger and what will happen to the players already contracted to teams in each league have yet to be revealed. 

However, the UFL did confirm that its March 30 opener will be played between the now-defunct leagues' 2023 champions: the Arlington Renegades (XFL) from Texas and Birmingham Stallions (USFL) from Alabama.

The USFL was formed in 2021 and co-owned by Fox Corporation. It had its first season in 2022 with eight teams divided into a north division and south division: Michigan Panthers, New Jersey Generals, Philadelphia Stars, Pittsburgh Maulers, Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, Memphis Showboats and the New Orleans Breakers. 

The XFL was founded by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) executive Vince McMahon in 2018. The league operated in the winter and early spring months, after the end of the NFL season and before the start of the USFL season. 

Eight teams were included in the XFL: DC Defenders, Seattle Sea Dragons, St. Louis BattleHawks, Vegas Vipers, Arlington Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, Orlando Guardians, and the San Antonio Brahmas. 

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