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Report: XFL, USFL will soon merge into one spring football league

Another change to the spring league formula.

Vegas Vipers v Seattle Sea Dragons Photo by Ali Gradischer/Getty Images

Changes are reportedly coming to spring football, perhaps as soon as 2024.

Sara Fisher of Axios reports that the XFL and USFL are set to merge into one league, and announcement is imminent. Here are some of the key details:

Details: The merger would be structured as a merger of equals and would require regulatory approval, one of the sources said. The leagues hope to combine before the 2024 seasons.

Fox Corp. owns the USFL, while the XFL is owned by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, his business partner Dany Garcia, and RedBird Capital Partners.

Game broadcasts of the combined league are likely to be split between Fox and XFL media partner Disney, according to the source. The USFL also has a broadcast agreement with NBC, although it’s not yet been determined if that will continue.

An announcement of the deal could come as early as this week.

Obviously non-NFL leagues have found it near impossible to survive for more than a couple of seasons, and low viewership and money are the two big reasons. One thing that differentiated the XFL from the USFL was the fact that the USFL had only a few of its teams playing in home cities. Games were based in “hubs” in Detroit, Birmingham, Canton, and Memphis, and only three of those cities had USFL “home” sides to root for. XFL teams did not have local training facilities but did play at home venues.

The USFL launched in 2022 and just completed its second season, with former Seattle Seahawks draft pick Alex McGough winning league MVP and the championship with the Birmingham Stallions. Meanwhile, the 3.0 version of the XFL went through its latest iteration without a problem, as the sub-.500 Arlington Renegades upset the DC Defenders to win the XFL title.

These leagues have provided players opportunities to still compete as pros without being on an NFL roster. Some of them have managed to return back to the NFL even at a practice squad level. We’ve covered the Seattle Sea Dragons pretty extensively here both this year and in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. For the most part the crowds have been pretty into the games and much like their NFL cousins, the Sea Dragons show a profound affinity for playing the closest outcomes possible.

We don’t know what the future holds for the respective teams in both leagues as of yet, but this is a pretty intriguing development in terms of finding any foothold for spring football.