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XFL vs USFL: Can These Two Spring Football Leagues Co-Exist in 2023?

Both the USFL and XFL are set to return for a second and third season, respectively, which means there will be two spring football leagues for fans to enjoy during the NFL offseason. What is left to be seen, however, is how both leagues can co-exist. Will the XFL or USFL have to adjust their schedule or are we about to witness some competition for the attention of football fans? Obviously, both leagues will play their games during the weekend, but how will this play out for fans looking to stay up-to-date with all the live action on television?

USFL already struck a deal with NBC prior to its debut last year that allows them to broadcast 21 games on the NBC conglomerate. Since the league is primarily backed by Fox, all of last season’s USFL games were broadcast exclusively on both networks. The league also played all of its games during the weekends.

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As far as the ratings are concerned, the USFL was able to average around 650,000 viewers after its opening games were watched by about 1.5 million viewers on average. Quite impressive considering the league is still in a formative shape.

The XFL, on the other hand, struck a five-year deal with ESPN and Disney to air all its games. It is reported that the XFL’s debut season will include 40 regular season matchups, two playoff games, and one championship game. Fans can catch XFL games live on ESPN, ABC, and FX.

The XFL plans to kick off its 2023 season the weekend after Super Bowl LVII, while the USFL plans to resume its sophomore season in April, just one week after the Masters. A ratings war appears to be looming due to a probable four-to-six week clash of schedule, provided these dates stay the same, and it will be interesting to see which league wins the ratings war.

Besides from ratings, both leagues will also battle it out in the area of game attendance. The USFL already announced that the 2023 season will be played with two to four hub cities, which is great considering the league hosted all of its regular season games in Birmingham, AL, and its playoff games in Canton, OH.

The USFL are for sure looking to grow its stadium attendance, which was pretty low in its inaugural season for obvious reasons. Birmingham is a small city with barely 222,000 inhabitants, with no major cities close by. The USFL would profit greatly from hosting its games in more populous cities like Houston and Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, debates on whether or not the XFL will be using a central location like the USFL did last season were put to bed as Dwayne Johnson announced early on in the year that the XFL will take the fields in stadiums across the United States. The XFL drew in no less than 12,000 fans in all of its games during the shortened 2020 season, although it did struggle with fan attendance in two of its major cities, Tampa Bay and Los Angeles.

These two cities will not host any games during the 2023 season as the XFL looks to venture into major sports cities across the nation that are a close distance away from each other.


As it stands, there are no major hindrances  standing in the way of both the USFL and XFL from being successful next year. It remains to be seen if and how they will coexist with each other, especially in April and May.

One thing we can be so sure of, however, is that there’ll be more than enough football to go round during the NFL offseason.

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