The first season of the reincarnated USFL will commence at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The league announced on Wednesday that their inaugural postseason will take place inside Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio starting on June 25.
The top two teams from each division will play in the semifinals on the weekend of June 25, with the USFL Championship Game taking place on Sunday, July 3. The eight-team league will first play a 10 week regular season that will begin on Saturday, April 16 with a prime-time matchup between the New Jersey Generals and the Birmingham Stallions.
“We are honored that the state-of-the-art Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium was selected as the destination for the USFL’s 2022 postseason,” said Mike Levy, President of Operations for the Hall of Fame Village. “Our facility and campus will provide the perfect setting and backdrop for the USFL’s inaugural playoffs and championship, offering fans and guests visiting our destination multiple opportunities to be engaged at the birthplace of professional football.”
Located directly next to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium hosts the NFL‘s annual Hall of Fame game as well as the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Built in 1938, the stadium has undergone several structural changes that included a major renovation following the 2015 Hall of Fame ceremonies.
“We’re excited to play our first playoffs and championship game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium,” said Edward Hartman, the USFL’s executive vice president of business operations. “It’s a beautiful stadium with all the facilities necessary to host football at the highest level, and we look forward to crowning our first champion in the shadow of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
The USFL is back after playing three seasons from 1983-85. Financial challenges and an unsuccessful attempt to move the league from the spring to the fall largely contributed to the league’s short existence. Along with implementing several innovations (such as instant replay and two-point conversions), the USFL produced several future prominent NFL figures that included future Bills coach Marv Levy, quarterbacks Steve Young and Jim Kelly, running back Herschel Walker, pass rusher Reggie White, linebacker Sam Mills, and offensive lineman Gary Zimmerman, among others.