Michigan Panthers Survive USFL-XFL Merger, Will Play in New UFL

The Michigan Panthers of the Unites States Football League will play in the new United Football League, a spring football league comprised of teams from the USFL and the XFL.
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Michigan Panther football player
The Michigan Panthers will play in the new United Football League, a spring football league comprised of teams from the USFL and the XFL. // File photo

The Michigan Panthers of the Unites States Football League will play in the new United Football League, a spring football league comprised of teams from the USFL and the XFL.

Reports of merger discussions between the two leagues surfaced in September. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, co-owner of the XFL, made the news official during a media blitz of college and NFL pre-game TV shows last weekend. Also finalized were the eight teams of the 16 squads that made up both leagues that will make up the UFL.

The Panthers, Birmingham (Ala.) Stallions, Houston Roughnecks (formerly Gamblers), and Memphis Showboats made the cut from the USFL. The Arlington (Texas) Renegades, D.C. Defenders, San Antonio Brahmas, and St. Louis Battlehawks were selected from the XFL.

The Panthers, who were part of the original USFL in the 1980s, played their home games at Ford Field and practiced at Rynearson Stadium at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti last season. The teams’ plans for this coming season were not announced.

“From day one, our mission has been to expand the game of football and be a league of opportunity, culture, and innovation,” Johnson says. “As we come together to create the UFL, we can build something powerful, exciting, and very cool for football fans — a spring league with lasting impact for all the players with a dream to play pro football and the ‘hardest workers in the room’ mentality to make their dreams come true.”

The UFL’s 10-game regular season will start March 30, with a battle of the 2023 champions: Birmingham Stallions (USFL) vs. Arlington Renegades (XFL). Players from all teams will report to training camp Feb. 24 in Arlington, Texas.

Games will be televised on Fox, FS1, ABC, and ESPN.

For more information, visit theufl.com.