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USFL to return in 2023

The re-launched football league is high stepping past the graves of the AAF and the XFL 2.0.

The USFL will crown its first champion on Sunday, either the Philadelphia Stars or the Birmingham Stallions. Though it has not yet handed out its first championship trophy, the league has already achieved a milestone its predecessors did not. It will play a second season.

Fox Sports CEO Eric Shanks confirmed as much to Sports Business Journal on Monday. Shanks is chairs the USFL's board of directors.

In its first season, the USFL played all of its regular season games in Birmingham before moving to Canton, Ohio, for the playoffs. 

In 2023, the USFL will expand to between two or four markets, with the same eight original teams. Shanks said the USFL could expand to 10 teams or more for 2024. 

Achieving a second season officially makes the USFL more successful than the Alliance of American Football, which played its full 2019 season and shut down shortly thereafter, and the XFL, which did not finish its 2020 season. Even the original XFL, which launched to much fanfare in 2001, did not return in 2002. 

The USFL getting a second season means it will compete head-to-head with the XFL 3.0 in the spring of 2023. The last "major" minor league to last more than one season was... the USFL from 1982 to 1986. 

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.

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