The USFL announced that they are returning to Memphis with the Showboats, but the Houston Gamblers found out their new hub city will be based in Memphis for the 2023 season.
Executive VP of Football Operations Daryl Johnston announced Tuesday morning that the Gamblers and the Showboats will be based in Memphis this upcoming season. The league hopes this will start a new rivalry between the two teams. Both teams will be practicing and living in Memphis. They will play their games against each other and any other home games in the same area. Their home games will be played at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium.
“The USFL has come home to Memphis because fans here share our passion to celebrate football as much as we do. This is a game-changing homecoming with real economic impact. The City of Memphis will also host the Houston Gamblers during the 2023 season. The Gamblers and Showboats in Memphis together — sounds like we have a real rivalry brewing!”Daryl Johnston, USFL Executive VP of Football Operations
Last season, the Gamblers and the other seven USFL teams lived and played their games in Birmingham, Alabama, for the regular season. The team finished the season with a 3-7 record and won their last two games of the season. Houston played the Memphis Showboats (previously Tampa Bay Bandits) twice last season, losing both contests 27-26 and 13-3.
This essentially means that the Gamblers will have more road games to deal with than most teams in the league this season. Even when they play the Showboats in Memphis, the reality is most of the fans that show up will be supporting the Showboats. Houston is over eight hours away from Memphis, so it will be tough to see Gamblers’ fans travel there unless there are Gamblers fans in Memphis.
It will make for a challenging season for Houston, but based on how they performed late last season, and they are on the right path to improvement this upcoming season.