The USFL and XFL are in talks to merge together as one, creating a single secondary spring football league, Axios first reported on Tuesday. The two leagues are expected to combine ahead of the 2024 spring season.
In 2022, the USFL returned after it had a run from 1983 to ’85, producing players like Steve Young and Herschel Walker before folding. The reboot league, which is owned by Fox Corp, played its first season with eight teams, beginning in April and lasting through its championship game in July both years.
The league was successful enough to continue in the Spring of 2023, retaining seven of the original eight cities while relocating a team to Memphis from Tampa.
Originally created by Vince McMahon, the XFL was on its third resurgence, after the first iteration was dissolved in 2001 and the second was canceled midseason in 2020. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson led a group with Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital Partners that bought the league from McMahon and revived the 2020 version.
In its first year under Johnson last Spring, the XFL kept five of the eight locations used in 2020 while relocating one team and replacing two more. The league played from February through its championship game in May and was preparing for a second season next year.
Between the 16 current teams in either league, the two sides only have one overlapping city as each has a team in Houston. The new league will also have to work through TV deals, as Fox and NBC broadcasted USFL games while ESPN had XFL broadcasts.