“WE’RE BACK!” – USFL MICHIGAN PANTHERS RETURN HOME
Inaugural game on Sunday April 30 at Ford Field, first of several weekends of professional spring football in downtown Detroit
Detroit will also host Philadelphia Stars during USFL 2023 regular season
DETROIT (Jan. 26, 2023) – On the 40th anniversary of the original Michigan Panthers winning the USFL Championship, the league announced today that Detroit will serve as the host city for the iconic team.
“We’re back!” said Daryl Johnston, USFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “With the help of some great partners, the USFL is making history by announcing that the Michigan Panthers have returned home in 2023 to play at Ford Field. The USFL is proud to be part of the revitalization of downtown Detroit, and we’re excited about turning up the Motown music and firing up a fan base for professional spring football in Michigan.”
The Panthers will open their home slate at Ford Field in one of two featured games on Sunday, April 30. Fans can pre-register for USFL tickets in Detroit via Ticketmaster to make a deposit for $25 and lock in priority access, or visit theUSFL.com for more information.
The League also announced that Detroit will host the Philadelphia Stars during the USFL 2023 regular season. In 1983 the Panthers and Stars faced off in the first USFL Championship game, the start of a historic rivalry that will be renewed this season. Local officials believe hosting two professional football teams this spring will have a strong economic impact.
“Today’s announcement that the Michigan Panthers are coming home to play at Ford Field builds on Detroit’s momentum as a sports and tourism destination,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “This means we now will have five major sports teams all playing downtown. We welcome the Michigan Panthers and USFL fans to our city and look forward to the increased foot traffic these games will generate for our downtown businesses and restaurants.”
The Panthers were already one of the leaders in merchandise sales and social-media reach during the USFL’s first season, and local officials are excited about the team returning to Michigan to begin Season 2.
“Detroit is the city of champions, and Visit Detroit, and the Detroit Sports Commission are excited to welcome the Michigan Panthers back to the city,” said Claude Molinari, President and CEO of Visit Detroit. “Having the USFL in the city will further enhance Detroit’s momentum and highlight the incredible cultural vibrancy our region offers visitors and residents alike.”
The Panthers and Stars will arrive in the Detroit Metro region in mid-March for the start of training camp. When the 10-week USFL regular season begins April 15, both teams will start on the road before coming to Ford Field on April 30 in the first of several weekends of professional football games in downtown Detroit.
The USFL is the first major professional spring football league in nearly 40 years to complete a successful inaugural season and return for Season 2. Last year, all eight teams were hosted by the City of Birmingham, Ala. Last June during the playoffs in Canton, Ohio, the USFL announced it would expand into more cities for the 2023 season, as the league incrementally moves teams into their namesake markets until all are playing in front of hometown fans. In addition to Detroit hosting the Michigan Panthers and Philadelphia Stars, the USFL previously announced that the Birmingham Stallions and New Orleans Breakers will be hosted in Birmingham, the Memphis Showboats and Houston Gamblers will be hosted in Memphis, Tenn., and the Pittsburgh Maulers and New Jersey Generals will be hosted in Canton during the upcoming season.
“We’re excited to deliver high-quality and competitive professional spring football to fans all across the country who crave more football,” said Johnston. “The USFL proved itself to be a stable league run by experienced football leaders who provide a fan-friendly, fun, and affordable stadium experience while being a catalyst for the evolution of football through innovative rules. Our elite broadcast partners at FOX and NBC give viewers unprecedented access and the best football production on television. We’re showing our fans, our players, our coaches, our communities, and public and corporate partners that the USFL is here to stay. We can’t wait to play USFL Season 2 in Detroit, Birmingham, Canton, and Memphis!”
About the United States Football League (USFL):
Fun, fast, and physical, the USFL is a fan-first, player-friendly, stand-alone major professional spring football league. Run by experienced football leaders, the USFL’s first season finished July 3, 2022, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame stadium in Canton, Ohio, with the Birmingham Stallions winning the championship by defeating the Philadelphia Stars, 33-30. FOX Sports and NBC Sports are official media partners, presenting all 43 regular- and postseason games for the 8-team league. Former NFL Dallas Cowboys player and current FOX NFL analyst Daryl Johnston is USFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. Former NFL Vice President of Officiating and current FOX NFL analyst Mike Pereira is USFL Head of Officiating. “United By Football” for fans of America’s favorite sport, USFL Season 2 kicks off April 15, 2023. Visit theUSFL.com and follow on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.