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Birmingham officially announced as USFL headquarters, to serve as host city of league’s first season

BIRMINGHAM — City officials gathered alongside United States Football League (USFL) representatives at Birmingham’s Protective Stadium to formally announce that the Magic City will serve as the league’s headquarters and play host to its first season this spring.

The highly-anticipated announcement comes after months-long discussions between local stakeholders and governmental entities. The Birmingham City Council, Jefferson County Commission, Birmingham Park and Recreation Board, Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) each had a hand in making the deal with Fox Sports come to fruition.

By way of hosting the eight-team league’s 12-week-long season, Birmingham will garner unprecedented media exposure due to a partnership between broadcast giants Fox and NBC.

As previously reported by Yellowhammer News, each game is estimated to have a per-game audience of approximately 1.4 million on main broadcast platforms, with 700,000 viewers tuning in on cable. Additionally, Fox estimates that the USFL will garner 40 million viewers over the course of the season, resulting in 10 billion viewing minutes over the entirety of the season.

The season will kick off with a matchup featuring the Birmingham Stallions against the New Jersey Generals on April 16, 2022, with both Fox and NBC covering the USFL’s inaugural game. A broadcast scenario such as this has not been seen since Super Bowl I aired in 1967.

Fox Sports CEO Eric Shanks conveyed the broadcast network’s excitement over Birmingham’s role in establishing what he referred to as a “new piece of football history.”

“At Fox Sports, our entire business is built around football. We were literally born to do football back in 1994,” advised Shanks. “When this opportunity came to start the new USFL, especially when we started talking to the folks here in Birmingham, we know that you share our passion to celebrate football as much as we do.”

He added, “You know what it means to the payers that get the opportunity to play this great game. You know it means to be able to bring more football to this community, to its businesses, and now, to the entire country. That’s why we’re all here today, to officially kick off the USFL headquarters here in Birmingham, Alabama.”

Mayor Randall Woodfin touted the collaborative effort and praised the USFL’s commitment to playing league games at both the state-of-the-art Protective Stadium and historic Legion Field.

“We’re gathering at a venue that brings together the connection of what real cooperation really looks like and vision,” said Woodfin. “We’re excited to be the city to host this inauguration. Our commitment to Legion Field cannot go [unsaid]. That being the choice home for the entire inaugural season, both stadiums, this is a really big deal for our community, everybody. So I look forward to cheering on the Stallions, not only here at the stadium but Legion Field… Birmingham has a lot to offer. Both of these stadiums will have a lot to offer. And we look forward to playing and being a good host.”

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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