It's a Guy Thing

Football Fever: A Look at the New UFL

The NFL and the CFL are two cornerstones in North American sports. Though the NFL dwarfs the CFL in terms of viewership, scale, and revenue, it’s not uncommon for fans of both to enjoy their time cheering on teams like the Toronto Argonauts along with the Miami Dolphins. In other words, the NFL and CFL help co-create a football lover’s dream world—one in which multiple seasons and leagues overlap for non-stop coverage. 

Throw in the NCAAF and there’s even more reason for football fans in the region to be considered spoiled. Given many of the NCAA’s top athletes wind up in the NFL and CFL, it provides a backstage pass into the amateur leagues that funnel into the majors. Still, despite the presence of three expansive leagues, there’s always room for more. 

In fact, as interest in US sports betting expands, and the number of bonus deals from trusted oddsmakers increases, there’s more football fever than ever before. Given the game involves quite a few nuanced positions and details, bettors who enjoy props, point spreads, and futures have plenty to work with. Betting, it seems, has provided many fans with a framework to study and analyze their favorite teams and players—just like a fantasy league. The bonus bets on offer, such as those from Caesars Sportsbook, serve to add value to the market.

In 2024, there’s a brand new league to follow: the United Football League. But the UFL isn’t quite like any other football project undertaken in North America. Let’s explore the league before its March 30 start date.


The UFL is the merger league formed from the defunct XFL and USFL. The XFL, as you may remember, was originally the brainchild of WWE front-man Vince McMahon. The league first flopped in 2001, and then again in 2020 after an unlucky relaunch. McMahon sold the league to Redbird Capital, a joint venture run by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and his former partner, Dany Garcia.

Meanwhile, Fox Sports was also working overtime to launch the USFL, which was relaunched from a failed USFL back in the 1980s. While the XFL wanted to focus on shortening the NFL and making it more exciting for casual fans, the USFL was instead looking to offer a more compact version of the NFL during the spring season.

Unfortunately, there was a significant overlap between the XFL and USFL. Though both were scheduled during the NFL’s offseason, it seems that there simply isn’t a football fanbase large enough for them to split.

United as the UFL

In September 2023, a joint statement announced plans for the USFL and XFL to combine forces. The once-separate leagues now compose two separate conferences in the joint UFL, just like the NFL’s American and National Football Conferences. So far, only eight teams have made the cut with four in each conference. 

The USFL will carry over its Birmingham Stallions, Houston Roughnecks, Michigan Panthers and Memphis Showboats. The XFL will bring on the Arlington Renegades, San Antonio Brahmas, St. Louis Battlehawks and the DC Defenders. A season-opener match is scheduled in which last year’s champions from both leagues, the Birmingham Stallions and the Arlington Renegades, will take each other on.

Thanks to the USFL’s association with Fox Sports, the UFL already had broadcasting rights set. In 2024, Fox Sports and ESPN retain the rights (with ESPN holding its XFL rights). The latter will carry on until 2028 as part of a five-year agreement.

What’s Next?

As outlined above, the UFL season will start on 30 March 2024. However, some analysts are keeping their ear to the ground to forecast whether the USFL and XFL stand a chance as the united UFL. While many still have their doubts considering failed relaunches in the past, the combined forces of Fox Sports and Redbird Capital shouldn’t be underestimated. 

Similarly, the league now has a perfect rivalry for fans to glom onto. Those who once supported the USFL or XFL might watch the UFL hoping for one of the teams to pull ahead during the postseason. Given both leagues have run for more than one year, they have plenty of fans to carry over and bring together.