USFL Kicking Off New Season This Spring

USFL Joins Betting Market

Football fans won’t have to wait till the fall to bet on football games – The United States Football League (USFL) just announced that almost half of the states across the U.S. who have legal sports betting markets, have now legalized wagering on USFL games for its inaugural season this spring. 

The fifteen states authorized to take these wagers are: Oregon, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Iowa, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Any licensed operator in those states will be able to take bets on the USFL.

The USFL season is set to kick off on April 16 at 7:30 p.m. ET when the Birmingham Stallions host the New Jersey Generals at Birmingham’s Protective Stadium. Unfortunately for Birmingham fans, sports betting is not legal in Alabama. Prior to the start of the season will be the inaugural player draft on March 10 followed by reporting for training camp on March 22. 

USFL’s Executive Vice President of Business Operations Edward Hartman said in a statement, “the new USFL will be an innovator in how fans watch and root for the teams they love, and we believe that the availability of legal sports wagering is another way fans can deepen their engagement with our games.”

In Other News

All of this seems exciting for the USFL, but as their season nears, they’ve also found themselves in some hot water. 

Though this may be the inaugural season, this is actually not the first USFL season. The original USFL played games from 1983-85 before being shut down in 1986. The owners of that league are now suing the owners of the “new” USFL, Fox Sports. The lawsuit alleges that Fox Sports didn’t properly obtain permission to use the original trademarks or intellectual property and they are now seeking to prevent Fox Sports from using the USFL name as well as any team names or logos of the original 18 teams.

The revamped USFL is set to have eight teams split into two divisions for the season this spring. The South Division will be made up of the Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers, and Tampa Bay Bandits. The North Division will have the Michigan Panthers, Pittsburgh Maulers, New Jersey Generals, and Philadelphia Stars. These are all team names used in the USFL in the 1980’s. Fox Sports did update the uniforms and logos but alleged that they did retain rights to these names on the basis of the 30+ years of inactivity on account of the original USFL owners.

It’s unclear what exactly the lawsuit means for the status of the beginning of the season but the dispute will likely have to be settled prior to the April 16 kickoff. If it is settled, each team would be guaranteed a 10-game schedule from April to June, at which point the two top teams from the South play each other and the two top teams from the North play each other. The winners of those games would play each other in the USFL Championship on July 3. 

Mia Fowler is a graduate of Chapman University where she studied business marketing and journalism and played on the women’s soccer team. Following her 16-year journey with soccer, she started writing for She specifically enjoys analysis of the NFL.

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