PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The Pittsburgh Maulers are back!
They are one of eight teams in the new version of the USFL.
The original team didn't last long but the maulers made a big impression on this city. The purple and orange with a logo of a steelworker using a sledgehammer, only lasted one year here and were the worst team in the league back in the 1980s.
Brian Woods, who is the President of Football Operations for the 2nd generation of the USFL thinks Pittsburgh is a perfect fit this time around
"Pittsburgh is definitely an area that country that is has always shown to be supportive of professional football, the Maulers were very unique and important brand of the USFL", said Woods.
The season kicks off on April 16.
It will be a ten-game season with a postseason but if you're interested in attending a game, you won't see the Maulers in Pittsburgh for at least a year.
All eight teams will play in one location in Birmingham, Alabama in year one. It's part of a plan to make sure the league exists beyond this season unlike other failed leagues
"We're looking for is the to be strategic. We want to make sure that the markets have what they need in terms of resources, maybe potentially local investor operators. If the right elements are there in place after the first season, it's could be very likely that Pittsburgh can see the Maulers in Pittsburgh," according to Woods.
The big question is, if and when the maulers come to Pittsburgh, where will they play?
Highmark Stadium could be their best option but it might be too small. I would imagine Heinz field would be in the conversation but that could be too big. The other possibilities would be Robert Morris, Duquesne, or a high school field.
"Making sure that we have the appropriate facilities especially for gameday purposes is important. So that is a conversation that has not been started yet but hopefully can be started in the near term so we could eventually find the appropriate location to play home games," said Woods.
The USFL failed the first time around because the league tried to compete with the NFL.
The NFL is king and this time the USFL is smart enough to realize that.
"I think you can make a strong argument that had the USFL stayed in the spring, just the first iteration of the USFL I speak of back in the 1980s. Had they continued to operate in the spring, they might still be here today", said Woods
The league will hold a draft on February 22nd and 23rd.
Former Steelers assistant coach Kirby Wilson will serve as the Maulers head coach.
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