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Will the Merged XFL-USFL League Opt for 6 Hub Cities? Here’s What We Know

Key Points:

  • Neil Stratton, from Inside the League, hints at a 6-hub city approach for the merged XFL-USFL league.
  • Speculated hub cities include Detroit, Canton, and St. Louis among others.
  • Contrary opinions suggest that a move to hub cities could be financially impractical.

Recent speculation from Neil Stratton’s newsletter, Inside the Leagues has stirred the XFL-USFL merger pot once again. Stratton is hearing that the XFL-USFL merged league may forgo home cities for each team and instead opt for six hub locations.

Given Stratton’s connections to the pro football scouting community and partnership with the XFL, his comments carry significant weight. However, the idea has been met with skepticism, particularly considering the existing infrastructure in places like Arlington. The Arlington Hub is a source of strength for the XFL in 2023.

Why Hubs Could be a Bad Idea

Although Stratton’s inside information has often been reliable, it’s important to question this latest piece of news. The infrastructure already in place in cities like Arlington suggests that a move to hubs could be more expensive and complicated, not less. Stratton’s information could very well be a trial balloon floated by the league to gauge fan reaction or old news from months ago.

The Potential Hub Cities

If Stratton’s information turns out to be accurate, we might see a split of hubs between the two leagues: Detroit, Canton, and Birmingham for the USFL; Arlington, St. Louis, and possibly San Antonio for the XFL. This model would mean that some existing XFL cities like DC could lose home games, which would be beyond dumb to put it plainly. The DC Defenders is the second biggest fan base and tickets sales in the XFL in 2023.

Roy S. Johnson reported this week that members of the BJCC were told that Birmingham will be in this new league in 2024 but the report did not state on if they will play there. “They said, they look forward to continuing their relationship with us as it has been in the past.” We assume that means they will play there in 2024 but Stratton’s report only mentions Detroit, Canton not Birmingham. We have heard from sources this past season that Protective Stadium is less than ideal on many fronts.

The MLS Stadium Conundrum

Some within management, we hear from sources, have an a aversion to MLS stadiums. Which have successfully hosted XFL games in the past, further complicates the situation. Such venues are perfectly suited for the merged league, especially considering their size and infrastructure. An April league start date could conflict with MLS and NWSL schedules, giving weight to the hub city theory.

While Stratton’s report brings an interesting twist to ongoing discussions about the merged league, many questions remain unanswered. At the very least, the hub city theory warrants caution. Existing infrastructures in XFL cities not only serve the fanbase but are also financially sensible. Therefore, the decision to shift to hub cities would need compelling reasons to override these factors.

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Mark Perry, a devoted sports journalist and founder of XFL News Hub, has been a key figure in XFL coverage since its 2018 revival. Launching XFL News Hub soon after the league's return announcement, Mark has established the platform as a primary source for comprehensive XFL updates. Renowned for his in-depth knowledge and commitment to sports journalism, Mark actively engages the XFL community, welcoming interactions at



  1. ron allen

    September 23, 2023 at 3:19 pm

    bad idea hub cities make league bad or cheap or fail

  2. Rob Sherman

    September 23, 2023 at 4:14 pm

    I will not support a team that does not play in a home city. If these idiots opt for HUB locations, I, along with tens of thousands of fans, are gone and will enjoy watching the new league fail. Just look at the pitiful attendance at USFL games last season played in HUB stadiums…

  3. Ken Granito

    September 24, 2023 at 7:36 am

    From day one the USFL has been about responsible growth. The hub concept is part of that. If the leagues stayed separate the USFL having lost a ratings war with the XFL would have had to put more teams in their cities. Since the XFL lost 60 million in their attempts to have every team in their own stadiums and have an increased payroll for certain players it caused the XFL to play ball the USFL’s and since the USFL will no longer have competition from the XFL, it allowed this model to continue. I can only hope, the merged leagues will look for homes that make sense for teams they have been unable to place. I think the New Jersey Generals can make a home for the Generals at Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson. It is a stadium built for football in a Metropolis with highways close enough to reach it, see Mark Perry’s article in USFL Hub News. The Breakers could find a stadium in the Shrine if it cannot get Yulman Stadium. These would be values for the merged leagues, where i M not so sure Lumen field or MetLife Stadium might not be. I guess what I am trying to say is that I am patient with the league regarding hubs, but remember you gain fans from having the team play in its own city. You also gain players. The USFL players that signed with NFL, the large majority came from Michigan or Birmingham, because all the best players want to have a real home skewing the players to sign with that team giving those teams an unfair leg up. Think Yankees or Dodgers vs Pirates or Royals in baseball. So be smart, hub where you NEED to for sanity, but take an extra search before you go that route because it’s easy.

  4. Steve from the sea dragons front row

    September 24, 2023 at 5:53 pm

    there is nothing reasonable or responsible about hub cities. the usfl has been hemorrhaging money every week they operate. the TV contracts do not supplement the lack of fan base. the stadiums are always empty. the viewership is trash. and even those that tune in don’t stay long because of the lack of fan interaction. merging the leagues would fail both leagues. a partnership though, where at the end of the seasons the champion of each league played each other in a cup or bowl style game. would work. the XFL has the foundation to be real. what they lack is a serious marketing dept. how can a city like Seattle have over 80 percent of it’s residence not even be aware that the XFL is even a thing? a merger would drive away most all of the fan base that does exist and would also hinder the talent that wants to play for the league. I truly hope this is not a real thing.

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