3 Key Points:

  • Strong markets: St. Louis, DC, Birmingham, Arlington, San Antonio
  • Struggling markets: Michigan, Memphis, Houston
  • Potential expansion in 2025, new trademarks filed

As we reach the halfway point of the 2024 UFL season, it’s time to take stock of which of the eight UFL markets are thriving and which are facing challenges. The season thus far has given us highs and lows when it comes to attendance. If the league wants to survive, it can’t wait too long in pulling the plug on underperforming franchises. We look at the good, the bad, and potential for new UFL markets based on what we have been hearing and new trademarks.

Markets Looking Good for 2024

Several UFL teams have shown strong performances and fan support this season, cementing their place in the United Football League’s future. The St. Louis Battlehawks, D.C. Defenders, Birmingham Stallions, Arlington Renegades, and San Antonio Brahmas have all demonstrated their market viability, drawing enthusiastic crowds. Some are generating buzz both locally and nationally. Way at the top of the heap is the Battlehawks with Defenders a distance second. The other markets are stable and building local interest.

Markets Struggling

On the other hand, some teams have faced difficulties in attracting fans and generating excitement. The Michigan Panthers, Memphis Showboats, and Houston Roughnecks have struggled to gain traction in their respective markets, raising questions about their long-term sustainability. While each team has its own unique challenges, the league will undoubtedly be keeping a close eye on these struggling franchises as it considers its future plans going into 2025.


Multiple sources have confirmed to UFL News Hub that as part of the merger agreement with the US government, the league was allowed to play with eight teams in 2024 and expand to ten teams in 2025. Our sources are also telling us that currently the league is actively exploring new markets for the upcoming 2025 season, and there is a possibility that some current teams may be put on pause or folded to allow new stronger markets to join the United Football League.

USFL Enterprises, LLC Trademarks

Over the past two months, USFL Enterprises, LLC, the FOX-owned arm of the United Football League, has trademarked several team names, fueling speculation about potential expansion plans. The Canton Bulldogs, Ohio Bulldogs, and Nashville Tuners have all been trademarked, suggesting that these cities could be in the mix for a future UFL team. Additionally, the Aviators and the Conquerors logo, both franchises that were part of The Spring League (FOX’s precursor to the USFL’s return, run by Brian Woods), have been trademarked, further adding to the intrigue.

Trademark image

As much as this writer loves Canton Ohio. At least for the foreseeable future, that location is a no go from what we are hearing.

New Teams From The XFL Side

On the XFL side, there has been no movement regarding new team trademarks, suggesting that if the XFL division were to add a new team in 2025, it would likely be either the Seattle Sea Dragons or the Orlando Guardians. Both teams already have the trademarks and stadium deals in place from the 2023 season, and their attendance numbers were better than any USFL team, outperforming even the two-time champion Birmingham Stallions.

Potential Locations for 2025

Rumors are swirling about potential expansion locations for the 2025 season, with several cities emerging as frontrunners. Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Nashville have all been mentioned as possibilities, with the Nashville Tuners trademark further fueling the speculation. It should be noted, California and New York are reportedly off the table due to tax and state insurance policy issues, leaving the league to focus on other markets. There is a lot that number crunching and data analytics that goes into selecting a market. There is way more that goes into it than just finding a stadium to play in.

What It Looks Like Now

In recent weeks, UFL President Russ Brandon and Daryl Johnston Director of Football Operations have made a strong push in Memphis Market, but with little success. The upcoming weekend’s performance will be crucial, as even though FedEx owner Fred Smith wants a team, if ticket sales continue to lag, he may lose interest, and the league would have to move on from that location.

The Showboats are the only UFL team to offer bobble head dolls to attract fans. That move is a staple of MLB and minor league baseball marketing to draw fans. It smells as a potential last ditch effort to breath life in to that market. Michigan has a good team, but attendance numbers continue to decline as well, leaving the league to ponder its options as it looks to expand to ten teams in 2025.

Potential 10 Teams in 2025

While the situation is fluid and subject to change, here is a prediction for the potential ten-team lineup in 2025, based on the need for the UFL to generate revenue and the ease of starting fresh in new markets, depending on stadium deals.

XFL Division Teams Staying:

  • St. Louis BattleHawks
  • DC Defenders
  • Arlington Renegades
  • San Antonio Brahmas
  • Adding: Seattle Sea Dragons

USFL Division Teams Staying:

  • Birmingham Stallions
  • Houston Roughnecks (may receive a reprieve due to the stadium situation; they were a good market for the XFL in 2020)
  • Either Memphis or Michigan stays, depending on whether there is a buyer for the team, but only one of them. The current feeling is that the Showboats could be on the way out, despite the powers that be trying hard to get that location going.
  • Adding: Two of the following three – Nashville, New Orleans, or Philadelphia

As the 2024 UFL season reaches its midpoint, it’s clear that the league is at a crossroads. While some markets have thrived, others have struggled, leaving the league to ponder its next moves. The expansion rumors and trademark filings have only added to the intrigue, with fans and analysts alike speculating about which cities could be in the running for a UFL franchise in 2025.

As the league looks to solidify its future and generate revenue, it will be interesting to see which markets ultimately make the cut and how the potential shake-up affects the league’s overall stability and success. Remember, the merge happened a lot soon than everyone, including people within both the XLF and USFL, had expected. So the runway for spring football in the US is short. It is sink for swim with all these franchises.

Butts in the seats is the most critical operation for the United Football League. We have spoken to multiple people within and around the league and they all agree. Fans in the stands is important. It drives sponsorship deals and also drives interest in the league. A fan tuning in for the first time and seeing a packed house leaves an impression. Hence why the league put such an importance on having games on major TV networks all season long.

What do you think about the UFL’s midseason performance and the potential expansion plans? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

author avatar
Mark Perry Editor
Mark Perry, a devoted sports journalist and founder of UFL News Hub, has been a key figure in XFL, USFL and UFL coverage since 2018.


  • Posted May 2, 2024 7:57 am 0Likes
    by Lee Crockett

    Put a team in Ohio and I will go. Until then, I am not really interested.

  • Posted May 2, 2024 9:44 pm 0Likes
    by Shimmy

    5 weeks into this season (midway point) St Louis, DC(MLS 18000, 19000 seat stadium) the smaller stadium comes across as a much better atmosphere where the defenders are playing before 75 to 80% capacity. Otherwise, attendance to me is disappointing, Birmingham, with its 2 1/2 year history that is sad, 12265 7576(weather related). Michigan, my favorite from 1983, wow just puzzling, not being from one of these communities I question the in city promoting of the product with no local ownership(private, or community(public). Start of the season, Late February, late March a factor, some stadiums look like they have no overhangs to get out of the sun or the rain ( I understand rain gear) I have sat in 100 plus temps and extreme cold single digits not to mention wind chill part of being a fan, 1/2 way through, interested how the second half goes. Short schedule I believe a plus, however 6teams to the playoffs would have been better, keep the fans engaged. 6 best record wise, but there 5 game home attendance % of capacity determines hosting in the playoffs. The attendance deal is a shame, because maybe for the first time, the leagues ownership and commitment for the success ” looks like it might be there” they may have to do a better job of venting communities. who wants franchises and who they want as a member are 2 different things. By the way There is a team in the Pro volleyball federation(Omaha) that is out drawing 5 if not 6 UFL teams. thank you go UFL.

  • Posted May 2, 2024 11:30 pm 0Likes
    by Ken Granito

    I continue to feel that if butts in the seats is what you are looking to see New Jersey needs to have the Generals. I understand there is no Hershel Walker, but NJ is always looking for family friendly events and would look to buy season tickets at $$65-$80 per person. Not even a doubt in my mind. Concessions would be better as they were ahead on ticket prices. The fact there cannot be an arrangement is awful. I look forward to see what comes next and I like the Breakers making a comeback, I do like the San Diego Squadron as an option. Looking forward to see what they come back with. I also believe the Dragons can do well with the Sea Dragons colors.

  • Posted May 3, 2024 10:47 pm 0Likes
    by Greg

    When you say Philly as a potential USFL division team for next year do you mean the Philadelphia Stars or a brand new Philly team?

    • Posted May 4, 2024 9:40 am 0Likes
      by Mark Perry

      Philadelphia Stars

      • Posted May 6, 2024 6:16 pm 0Likes
        by Shimmy

        Philadelphia Stars that would be great, Subaru Park, Chester, PA it would be even better, what a gorgeous stadium like most MLS stadiums are. lets see Salt Lake City, Portland, San Diego, Austin, Columbus, etc,” sorry daydreaming” UFL teams playing in MLS stadiums. thank you GO UFL

  • Posted May 6, 2024 5:25 pm 0Likes
    by Shimmy

    I am sure, start date in 2025 is #1, 2019 AAF, 2020 XFL, 2023 XFL all started late February, While the USFL 2022 ,2023 started mid April. I understand the merger, UFL starting two weeks earlier March 30th. Never seen attendance, from the USFL in 2022, 2023. If the information was honest, they AAF drew pretty well in San Antonio, San Diego, Orlando, Birmingham, even Memphis all more than 13000 average. Arizona, Atlanta, Utah averaged in that 9000 range. 2020 XFL I believe actually was pretty good also, if the attendance was honest. 2023 XFL seemed like there attendance was better, only Vegas drew 6800 over 5 games, being last. Starting around USFL dates late March, Mid-April ( fans in the stands) attendance, is less. Private ownership I would think has to happen before expansion, If teams are relocated, Table or pause the city name and nickname. allowing them to be revived by future private ownership in that community. Please do not fold them. With private ownership I believe they will have to geographically locate franchises drop the XFL USFL divisions, or the league should pay for travel expenses if divisions are retained. Kind of sad if the Philadelphia Stars and the DC Defenders are in the league as natural rivals and only play each other once because there in league specific divisions. This could open a door like New Jersey Generals, Virginia Destroyers,(Norfolk) or even the Hartford Guardians, playing within the same division,” Hypothetically of course”. Thank you GO UFL

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