- Reliable sources indicate a possible XFL-USFL merger announcement in early November.
- A combined 12-team league format is being considered, with an expected launch in February.
- The 30-day government approval window for the XFL-USFL merger has passed, suggesting no regulatory roadblocks and clearing the way for final negotiations.
Inside sources close to the XFL and USFL have indicated that the long-anticipated merger announcement between the two leagues could be made public as early as next week. This landmark decision is expected to significantly impact the spring football landscape. Lets break down everything we have been hearing.
In the latest Inside The League newsletter Neil Stratton suggested a merger that would carry forward a total of 10 teams into a new combined venture. “Early this week, we were hearing that both leagues would bring five teams into the new venture. Also: we are expecting play to begin in February, mirroring the XFL’s schedule, and we’ve heard a dispersal draft will take place before Thanksgiving,” an insider shared. However, Stratton said the conversation has evolved rapidly. By Thursday, updates from league officials hinted at a finalized meeting this week with a targeted announcement date of November 13.“
Social Media Teasers
Adding fuel to the speculative fire, XFL Chairwoman Dany Garcia has posted tantalizing dates on her Instagram account, which followers have interpreted as a nod to the forthcoming merger. LA is the home location of the USFL offices and FOX Sports.
Veteran sports journalist Howard Balzer echoed the sentiment, tweeting, “Hearing that an announcement is coming this week regarding USFL-XFL merger that will be a 12-team league.”
Hearing that an announcement is coming this week regarding USFL-XFL merger that will be 12-team league.— Howard Balzer (@HBalzer721) November 6, 2023
Rumored Merge Dynamics
Since the initial whispers of a merger, speculation has been rife with various scenarios. Here’s a breakdown of the rumors that has been circulating about the potential XFL-USFL merger:
- Initial Outreach: First it was the XFL was the first to approach the USFL with the idea of merging. Then we heard from our own XFL Insider Mike Mitchell that members of both leagues reached out to each other and took the idea to the heads of the XFL and USFL. Then we heard though our sources that the USFL reach out to the XFL. We will never know what the truth is and at the end of the day as it is interesting it really is irrelevant in the long term.
- League Composition: The current rumors suggest a 12-team league, but there’s been discussion about each league contributing an equal number of teams to the new entity with 10 total. Early on, there was talk of a possible structure of four teams from the XFL and eight from the USFL.
- Hub Cities Concept: The new league was rumored to be considering the USFL’s hub city model. But that has not been talked about for quite some time. The XFL’s approach to all players in one location practicing and traveling to games seemed good on paper, but players complained about the travel, specifically players of the Seattle Sea Dragons.
- Home Field for Philadelphia Stars: Among the specifics being bandied about, one possibility is the Philadelphia Stars might be one team with a permanent home city in the new league, suggesting some teams in the new league will have dedicated home locations unlike the traditional hub city approach.
- Play Schedules and Drafts: In the beginning the rumors were the new league would follow the USFL’s schedule ending in July. Now the rumors are suggesting that the merged league would follow the XFL’s schedule, commencing play in February. Additionally, there’s talk of a dispersal draft being conducted before Thanksgiving to allocate players to the newly combined teams.
Finalization on the Horizon: Government Approval Clears Path for Merger Talks
As the XFL and USFL move toward a potential merger, a significant hurdle has been cleared, paving the way for what may be the final stages of discussion. The stipulated 30-day government approval window for such a venture has now elapsed without any objections. This development opens the door for both leagues to engage in finalized talks concerning the merger.
The expiration of this review period typically means that any antitrust concerns that might have been raised by the government have been addressed or deemed non-issues. This procedural step is crucial for transactions that could significantly alter the competitive landscape of an industry—in this case, spring professional football.
With this administrative checkpoint out of the way, it’s reasonable to deduce that both the XFL and USFL are ramping up their negotiations. Based on Dany Garcia’s location this week, it suggests that the timing aligns with the anticipated meeting this week to iron out the final details of the merger. The completion of the government’s review period is often the precursor to formalizing agreements and publicly announcing plans.
Fans and followers of both leagues are on the edge of their seats, as the merger promises to unveil a refreshed and unified spring football experience. With the possibility of a balanced representation of teams, this alliance could mark a new era for American football enthusiasts.
Stay tuned as we await the official word, which could redefine the future of spring football.
Latest on fluid USFL-XFL from source. Looks like 12 teams w/ 2-team hubs, 4 XFL teams departing (ORL, LV, SEA, HOUS). Meetings this week to hopefully finalize with announcement anytime prior to Thanksgiving. Some other cities could change. Goal is to have owners in 2025.— Howard Balzer (@HBalzer721) November 6, 2023
Unleash the Action: Sign up for XFL Insider and Fuel Your Passion for Football!
USFL and XFL Merger: A Deep Dive into the Historic Collaboration
/ 5 days ago
Tune in to the latest edition of “XFL Week In Review” for an in-depth...