Special Report: XFL & USFL merger on the horizon for 2024 season

According to Axios, the USFL and the XFL are discussing merging leagues. Both the USFL and the XFL played in the spring and summer last year providing football die-hards two alternative leagues to choose from during the NFL and college football off-seasons.

The merging of both leagues could lead to an easier path forward for the leagues given the challenges and the history of failure for NFL alternatives such as the 2020 XFL, the original USFL, the AAF, and many others.

Axios reports that the merger would be structured as a merger of equals and would require regulatory approval, one of the sources said, meaning the leagues hope to combine before the 2024 season. This would mean Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson, Danny Garcia, and Redbird Capital would have to find some mutual ground with the USFL and its Fox ownership group.

XFL and USFL viewership numbers were comparable with the XFL slightly edging out the USFL by the end of the season. However, the XFL and USFL did report lower numbers while both leagues were playing simultaneously, cannibalizing each other during the overlap period.

The USFL’s championship gameĀ drew 1.2 million viewers, while the XFL attracted 1.4 million for its title game.

The details of the potential merger are not all clear however a few points have come out as strong possibilities for both sides:

– Game broadcasts of the newly combined league are likely to be split between Fox (USFL Owner) and XFL media partner Disney (ESPN), according to the source. The USFL also has a broadcast agreement with NBC, although it’s not yet been determined if that will continue.

– Sources are expecting an announcement from both leagues as early as this week

According to several reports, the base wage is $59,000, which is $5,000 higher than what the USFL provides. Furthermore, players earn $5,000 for every game played and $1,000 extra for every win.

We’ll see what this means for players as a merger could mean that the current number of teams in the USFL and XFL (eight each) could be reduced, unless the league wishes to continue with a rather large 16 team league in 2024.

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and