Who Owns the UFL? Breaking Down the XFL and USFL Merger

The USFL and XFL were rival spring football leagues that combined to form the United Football League. Who owns the UFL?

Following several failed spring football league efforts over the years, the USFL and XFL officially completed their merger in Nov. 2023 and formed a new spring football league called the United Football League.

Once the two leagues merged, who owns the UFL?

Who Owns the UFL?

Spring football leagues have historically had little success.

The USFL was first founded in 1982 and lasted four years before ceasing operations. The XFL, originally founded by wrestling executive Vince McMahon in 2001, only lasted one season.

The XFL was revived in 2018 but then filed for bankruptcy in 2020. It was bought by a consortium that included Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Dany Garcia. The USFL was reborn in Birmingham, Ala., in 2021.

The USFL and XFL played separate, partially overlapping schedules in 2023. Now, the leagues have merged into the UFL, with the hopes of taking the best aspects from each.

“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. This league represents continued legacy and evolution, and we look forward to building the universe of spring football,” Garcia said in a statement.

“This is 30 years in spring football of starting and stopping, starting and stopping,” Johnson said on Fox NFL Sunday, adding that “it feels like we got a shot to establish that spring football is here to stay.”

A news release listed five UFL partners: the three XFL owners (Johnson, Garcia, and Gerry Cardinale of RedBird Capital Partners), USFL owner Fox Sports (represented by CEO Eric Shanks), and ESPN (represented by chairman Jimmy Pitaro).

Former XFL president/CEO Russ Brandon holds the same title in the UFL, and former USFL president of football operations Daryl Johnston leads the UFL’s football operations.

The UFL has two conferences: the USFL Conference and XFL Conference. The USFL Conference includes the Birmingham Stallions, Michigan Panthers, Memphis Showboats, and Houston Roughnecks (three were USFL teams, while the Roughnecks are a combination of Houston’s USFL and XFL teams). The XFL Conference features the D.C. Defenders, San Antonio Brahmas, Arlington Renegades, and St. Louis Battlehawks.

Four teams qualify for the playoffs, with the top two teams in each conference qualifying for their respective conference championship games. The UFL Championship will be held on June 16. Each team will play in six conference games and four inter-conference matchups.

KEEP READING: How Do UFL Salaries for Players, Coaches Compare to NFL?

During the inaugural season, the head coaches were Skip Holtz (Birmingham), Bob Stoops (Arlington), Curtis Johnson (Houston), Reggie Barlow (D.C.), John DeFilippo (Memphis), Wade Phillips (San Antonio), Mike Nolan (Michigan), and Anthony Brecht (St. Louis).

The UFL has television deals with ESPN and Fox.

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