The USFL recently completed its inaugural season back to the realm of sports. We’d say the first season back was a success overall, but a lot of questions are still asked to this day about the league, many mistakenly thinking it is under the same leadership it was once under in the eighties. That couldn’t be further from the truth dear readers. Today we’ll be looking into just who owns the USFL and why their presence on the market is so appreciated.
What Is The USFL, A Look Back At The USFL In The 80’s
The original incarnation of the USFL ran from 1982 to 1986. It certainly goes way back, but for football fans, the league represented another choice outside of the realm of the NFL. For some that was a welcomed thing, but for others, it just took away from their treasured and heralded NFL season.
The NFL is still looked at like that today, as essentially the only game in town, and people have a right to their opinion, but for many others out there, multiple leagues aren’t only a good thing for the fans, but a great thing for coaches and players to excel at their game, make a name for themselves and garner opportunities for later in their career.
The NFL teams look at the experiences these players have in the CFL, the USFL and starting next year with the launch of the XFL as well.
Well, back to history, the USFL had those few seasons but it all ended way before it could properly get under way, which was of course way too soon.
Who Owned Original Incarnation Of The USFL
Believe it or not the original ideas for the USFL started as early as 1965, and it was David Dixon, a sports executive, that was behind those ideas. Interestingly enough he helped launch the New Orleans Saints NFL football team to give you a little bit of background information on him—trivia if you will.
Despite a lot of momentum that the league garnered in its early stages though, it had issues essentially from the start and thus was plagued throughout its initial run…issues stemming from securing venues and so on.
Despite this, it was in 1984 that the USFL moved to compete directly with the NFL and that unfortunately did not go as well as planned quite obviously. But there were investments made and a heck of a lot of money was thrown into the league. To give you a further idea of just how much, even former president Donald Trump owned a team in the former USFL, the New Jersey Generals.
The former champions include: The Michigan Panthers (1983), The Philadelphia Stars (1984), and the Baltimore Stars (1985)—essentially Philly and Baltimore were the same team; they relocated and underwent a name change quite obviously.
The Fall Of A Positive Thing After NFL Vs USFL Lawsuit
As stated, the USFL was a positive thing for football overall, but it all came to a head soon enough, they ultimately ceasing to exist after a lawsuit with the NFL. This was in 1986.
There were many attempts at restarting the league over the years…even a more recent attempt back in 2010. That seemed to be the last hurrah, so to speak, but some had hope out there and well, it looked like one more attempt was definitely still in the cards…
A USFL Re-Emergence / The 2022 Season
Well, it was many years later, but in 2020 and a bit before, there were rumblings of a return of the USFL but no one was sure, but it was a whole different party that was planning on bringing the league back. It was officially announced in 2021 that the a new version of the USFL was indeed coming back, and this time there were no issues with the venue because they ended up playing the whole first season back in Birmingham, Alabama at Protective Stadium and Legion Field.
Who Owns The New USFL
Brian Woods founded the league; things started getting under way beyond that point and Fox Sports was announced at the start as a minority owner of the league.
Brian Woods would later be appointed to the role of vice president, according to Wikipedia.org. This was by October of 2021. In the meantime, Fox set up what is known as a subsidiary, and thus The National Spring Football League was formed.
A subsidiary, as per Wikipedia.org, is:
“A subsidiary, subsidiary company or daughter company is a company owned or controlled by another company, which is called the parent company or holding company. Two or more subsidiaries that either belong to the same parent company or having a same management being substantially controlled by same entity/group are called sister companies. Sister Concern is not a legal term and it is not necessary for owners of the company to be same in sister concern…
The subsidiary can be a company (usually with limited liability) and may be a government- or state-owned enterprise. They are a common feature of modern business life, and most multinational corporations organize their operations in this way. Examples of holding companies are (holding companies) organize their businesses into national and functional subsidiaries, often with multiple levels of subsidiaries…”via wikipedia.org (link above)
So essentially, dear readers, Fox Sports owns the USFL.
The Birmingham Stallions won the first season back and in the end the season was a good one. Could there have been a little more attention garnered by the league? Yes. Will that attention grow? Definitely; especially in this age of the internet…the one thing the former incarnation of the league was missing…the good old World Wide Web.
These days, word of mouth needs help, and the internet helps speed that process along. So if the league did well, or decently, no matter how you look at it, it’s because of the attention thrown to it by sites like the USFL News Hub and other sources of noise online like social media, and if that continues, this just might be the incarnation of the USFL that enables the league to come into its own and become a viable option for football fans out there to enjoy. The 2023 Season is set to kick off in April of 2023, with the USFL draft still to be announced as of this writing.
*For all of your USFL league news: USFL News Hub