3 Key Points

  • The UFL is considering keeping the current eight teams for the 2025 season.
  • Michigan Panthers and Houston Roughnecks may relocate to improve attendance.
  • The league is deciding between two potential start dates: March 1st or March 29th.

As the inaugural season of the United Football League (UFL) enters its final two weeks, there’s still plenty of action happening behind the scenes. While fans are focused on the conclusion of the regular season, league officials and stakeholders are already looking ahead to the 2025 season.

8 Teams Staying Put In 2025

According to sources close to the situation, the UFL is leaning towards maintaining the current roster of eight teams for the 2025 season. With the league officially launching in January. The new merged league between the XFL and USFL faced a compressed timeline for its first season. UFL President and CEO Russ Brandon and other decision-makers believe that 2025 will be a redo or “mulligan”.

They feel that giving all eight teams a full off-season to establish themselves in their markets with marketing and ticketing people in place is the best course of action. The league wants to show stability to the fan base for 2025.

Panthers And Roughnecks Could Be On The Move

Despite the overall plan to keep the current teams in place, there are rumblings that the Michigan Panthers and Houston Roughnecks may be exploring new home venues for the 2025 season. The Panthers, who currently play at Ford Field, are reportedly considering a move to either East Lansing or Ann Arbor, Michigan. Meanwhile, the Roughnecks are planning to return to TDECU Stadium. Both potential moves are aimed at boosting attendance figures and bringing the product closer to families in the case on Michigan.

No Expansion In 2025

While the UFL merger agreement included a provision for the league to expand to 10 teams in its second year. That appears unlikely in 2025. The league is still working on a secondary budget plan for a 10-team format as a contingency. It is one of those ask for forgiveness not permission type things. One spring football league is better than no spring football league. The league will ask for a reprieve for the 2025 season with expansion in its sights for the 2026 season if all goes well.

Internally, there are factions advocating for maintaining the current eight-team structure and another wants the league at ten-teams. The final decision will likely depend on the league’s ability to navigate government regulations and more boardroom discussions but the current feeling is the same eight teams in 2025.

Two Different Start Dates

As for the 2025 season’s kickoff, the UFL is currently considering two potential start dates: the weekends of March 1st or March 29th. While league officials seem to be leaning heavily towards the later March start date, the final decision is expected to be locked in by September at the latest. This will give teams and fans ample time to prepare for the upcoming season.

Head Coaches Pay

One of the behind-the-scenes discussions revolving around the UFL’s new budget involves potential pay cuts for coaches. Some head coaches on the winning side of the league have already expressed concerns about returning in 2025 if their salaries are reduced.

Some of the head coaches are still in their second year of a two year contact. That could all change in 2025. However, it’s important to note that these budget discussions are still in the preliminary stages, and alot can change between now and the start of the 2025 season. Something to keep an eye on in the off season.

Season Ticket Packages

Fans eagerly awaiting news about season ticket packages for the 2025 UFL season may not have to wait much longer. Word is that season ticket announcements could be coming any day now. However, the Michigan Panthers may be a notable exception, as their potential venue change could delay their ticket sales. It’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean the Panthers won’t be returning; it simply suggests they may be exploring new location options.

Everyone Is Really Happy

Despite the challenges and uncertainties that come with launching a new football league, sources indicate that everyone from FOX and RedBird Capital Partners is thrilled with the UFL’s progress. Strong ratings and a solid foundation have stakeholders optimistic about the league’s future, particularly with a full offseason to build upon the successes of the inaugural season.

Interestingly, there has been less chatter about the involvement of Dany Garcia and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who were key players in the XFL’s 2023 season. While they are still believed to be involved, their roles may have diminished compared to their previous stint with the XFL.

As the UFL’s first season reaches its climax, it’s clear that the league has a bright future ahead. With careful consideration being given to team locations, start dates, and financial sustainability, fans can expect much of the same but improvements across the board in 2025.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the league’s plans for the future, so be sure to leave a comment and join the conversation!

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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.

12 Comments

  • Posted May 20, 2024 9:31 pm 0Likes
    by Teresa Jessie

    Not at all happy about the potential March start up dates. I prefer the weekend after the Super Bowl. I would also like to see the league have a fan council for each team to bounce ideas around.

  • Posted May 20, 2024 11:11 pm 0Likes
    by Kevin Crittendon

    Keep the present rules in place as much as possible, it gives the audience a scine of knowledge and belonging.

  • Posted May 21, 2024 12:46 am 0Likes
    by 4th&long

    Mark,

    In a nut shell it sounds like status quo for 2025. I’m very much fine with that. Focus on improving the 8 teams you got. If they expand – go to big markets – NY/NJ, Philly, TB etc…
    So glad to hear they are happy with results so far… I am (LOL). Gotta be realistic and with only 1 league the TV results are trending up about 33% from 2023. With sports right jumping through the roof… UFL is still an expensive way to get sports programming with a high ceiling potential.

    The Michigan talk of alternate sites may be a tactic to get a better rate from Ford Field. They also were likely displeased with Lions ticket operation which they either paid for or was part of the deal.
    There’s supposed to be (or likely) a new Soccer specific stadium in Detroit in 2027. I think they need to hold out for that and stay in Detroit. Stay in Michigan, that’s the key.
    Ann Arbor is still in the Detroit metro area, if they move that’s as far as they can go IMO.

    Totally not surprised that Rock and DG are less around, they are not financing the league and Rock is a front man, and he’s been pretty MIA since the 1st week. Its FOX RBC.

    Thanks for the update and lets gooooo!

    4th&long

  • Posted May 21, 2024 10:40 am 0Likes
    by HVAC_Dad85

    I don’t see the League moving to East Lansing or Ann Arbor, but I could see them utilizing Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti since the Panthers use that as their training facility for the 2023 season along with the Stars Spartan Stadium and Michigan Stadium are much larger than Ford field and would look worse on TV Rynearson Stadium seats 30,200 and would be more ideal for the spring league at least until the new soccer specific stadium is done in Cork Town.

  • Posted May 21, 2024 1:53 pm 0Likes
    by Shimmy

    March 1st

  • Posted May 21, 2024 11:53 pm 0Likes
    by Elijah Elliott

    We had 16 spring football teams last year. Now we are merged into 8 teams and they aren’t even going to try to expand? We are moving backwards.

    • Posted June 7, 2024 8:45 am 0Likes
      by grant

      The talent level is higher though because they kept the better plays and cut the worse ones, so its better football overall

  • Posted May 22, 2024 12:50 pm 0Likes
    by Jeffery Giuliani

    “ Both potential moves are aimed at boosting attendance figures and bringing the product closer to families in the case on Michigan”
    Obviously the person writing the article has never been to Michigan, nor do they understand population of Michigan.
    Moving to Lansing is moving farther away (too far) and reduces the population numbers for attendance. Going to Ann Arbor would be ok. But where are they going to play? Cause they are way better off at Ford Field than The Big House. I am a 2 year season ticket holder. I would never go to watch them in a college football stadium. I need a seat. My back doesn’t do benches.

  • Posted May 22, 2024 10:36 pm 0Likes
    by Kyle M. Davidson

    Mark, of all the non-NFL profession football iterations I have watched the past few years, the UFL has been the best by far.

    There does need to be a better marketing push to better promote these games next season, but what this league needs more than anything is consistency. Plan to exist again for another year. XFL, AAFL, XFL part 2, USFL, and now this merger makes it very hard to develop a stable fan base. There have been a variety of reasons why these leagues have changed shape, but relocation would certainly diminish enthusiasm for the league at this stage. It took many years for all the other professional leagues to grow into their current scale. Having fewer quality teams (not you Memphis) has forced the games to be mostly competitive and very entertaining.

    One of the smartest moves the XFL made was to give a city who lost an NFL team (St Louis) a team. Oakland and San Diego would be great examples of future cities who would have very excited fan bases.

    Step 1: Exist
    Step 2: profits

  • Posted May 25, 2024 8:01 am 0Likes
    by Gail

    How is this progress? Maybe staying around another season? Teams Getting there own owners? I’m disappointed that they just admitted failure. No expansion? No going back to markets? They are in trouble…. They say they are happy this early and then according to the author- they offer nothing more but the same ole 8 teams and nothing more?

  • Posted June 18, 2024 1:03 pm 0Likes
    by Gary Winter

    I agree with Kyle Davidson. I’ve become an enthusiastic Battlehawk’s fan partially because of the loss of the Rams I suppose. I’m sure that is or at least was the reason there have been so many of us in STL following the UFL as much as we have. Expanding to San Diego and Oakland just might be an answer. Both are in the same position we were in. They feel they’ve been wronged by the NFL. However, having said that, I’m of the belief that if the UFL wasn’t entertaining, St. Louis wouldn’t be supporting the UFL like we do. The games are simply fun.
    One other note, the UFL definitely needs to step up their PR game. There is very little advertising/promotions in the St. Louis area that I’ve seen to date. With a bit of effort, I believe getting fans out in most of the UFL cities would increase. It’s a good product.

  • Posted June 23, 2024 11:07 pm 0Likes
    by Dan

    I have been a USFL Fan of the Birmingham Stallions for now 3 seasons. What Spring Football brings is another way to enjoy football. Obviously other fans from other teams more than likely dislike the Stallions because of the 3 Championships in a row. From what I saw the Panthers have improved so much, never got into the XFL, but those teams are amazing. If the UFL won’t expand the league 2 more teams in 2025 than maybe add 2 more regular season games than. It was interesting to see no extra points by kicking through the uprights this season. Just another way to make these games interesting. In my opinion this league should grow too at least be a farm system to the NFL. Possibly be a bridge from college level to pro level. I am not sure what the Birmingham Stallions fate will be in the future seasons, but I am going to enjoy the ride- Giddy Up! can’t wait for the 2025 Season.

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