Over the weekend, XFL co-owners Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Dany Garcia announced the launch of the United Football League, the result of their league’s merger with the USFL.
“As a unified spring league, we are able to deepen our commitment to unlocking and surpassing the dreams of our players, coaches, staff and fans,” Garcia said in a statement. “This league represents continued legacy and evolution, and we look forward to building the universe of spring football.”
The new league combines four teams from the XFL, including the Arlington Renegades, DC Defenders, San Antonio Brahmas and St. Louis Battlehawks, with four teams from the USFL, including the Birmingham Stallions, Houston Roughnecks, Memphis Showboats and Michigan Panthers.
Kickoff of the UFL’s inaugural season will begin on March 30 with a matchup between the Renegades and Stallions, who won their respective leagues in 2023. The rest of the schedule will be revealed at a later date, with games set to be broadcast on ABC, ESPN, FOX and FS1.
The original XFL played just one season in 2001 before being rebooted in 2020 by WWE chairman Vince McMahon, though it was shut down after five games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was subsequently sold to Johnson and Garcia, who relaunched the league last spring.
The USFL, meanwhile, played three seasons of spring football from 1983-85 and planned to move to the fall in 1986 to compete with the NFL before ceasing operations. It returned in 2022, albeit with no connection to the original league aside from the names of the league and teams.
“This is 30 years of spring football of starting and stopping, starting and stopping,” Johnson said during an appearance on FOX NFL Sunday. “This merger between the USFL and XFL, it feels like we’ve got a shot to establish that spring football is here to stay.”
The UFL should not be confused with the league of the same name that played in the fall from 2009-12 and featured teams such as the Florida Tuskers, Hartford Colonials, Las Vegas Locomotives, Omaha Nighthawks, Sacramento Mountain Lions and Virginia Destroyers.