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XFL and USFL merge to form "United Football League," XFL co-owners Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia announce

The XFL and USFL, rival football minor leagues, are combining to form the United Football League, which will kick off on March 30, 2024. The new premier football league was announced by XFL co-owners Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia on FOX's NFL on Sunday.

The season opener will be played by the Arlington Renegades and Birmingham Stallions, reigning champions of the XFL and USFL, respectively. The leagues first announced their intent to merge in September. 

"As a unified spring league, we are able to deepen our commitment to unlocking and surpassing the dreams of our players, coaches, staff and fans. This league represents continued legacy and evolution, and we look forward to building the universe of spring football," Garcia said in a statement.

XFL: MAY 13 Championship - D.C. Defenders vs Arlington Renegades
XFL owner Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson walks through the crowd after the XFL Championship game between the Arlington Renegades and the DC Defenders on May 13, 2023, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Spring football leagues have historically been turbulent. The USFL, first founded in 1982, lasted four years before ceasing operations. The XFL, originally founded by wrestling executive Vince McMahon in 2001, only lasted one season.

The XFL was revived in 2018 but then filed for bankruptcy in 2020 — it was bought by a consortium that included Johnson and Garcia. The USFL was reborn in Birmingham, Alabama, in 2021.

"This is 30 years in spring football of starting and stopping, starting and stopping," Johnson said on FOX NFL Sunday, adding that "it feels like we got a shot to establish that spring football is here to stay."

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