USFL knows attendance will be an issue, at least until all eight teams are playing in their home markets

By Mike Florio

The USFL is hoping to find a way to put more U.S. residents in the stands at its games.

In the second year of USFL 2.0, the league expanded its locations from one city (Birmingham) to four. With Canton hosting games but not having a team, five of the eight USFL teams did not play in the cities they represent.

The tension for the USFL comes from a desire to minimize travels costs and a goal of maximizing attendance.

“We’re still figuring out the attendance thing in the hub model,” USFL president of football operations Daryl “Moose” Johnston recently told Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal. “Until we get everybody into their home markets, it’s going to be a challenge. We all know that. We’re trying to find creative ways to deal with it. What it does is motivate us to make sure we get our eight teams into their home markets as quickly as we can, but we can’t rush it. We’ve got to do it the right way.”

That’s the balance. The increased revenue from having eight teams in eight home markets versus the increased costs of moving teams around every week for the games.

Ultimately, profit is the key. If the USFL doesn’t make enough of it, Fox will eventually shut it down or sell it off.