The USFL serves an assortment of football in Birmingham each week

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The U in USFL could easily mean unique.

the United States Soccer League is different from other pro gridiron franchise associations that have come to Birmingham. To start, everything of this league calls the Magic City its home.

Gene Hallman, CEO of the Alabama Sports Foundation, said the USFL provides a tremendous opportunity for the Birmingham community.

“A professional football league has never played its regular season, its entirety, in one city,” he said. “We have a platform for a national TV audience several times a weekend, more than half of which are TV channels. We have a huge economic impact with all those players and coaches staying in our hotels and eating in our restaurants.

Some out-of-town fans will come, although the number is unknown. “But there’s clearly a growing fan base in each of those markets,” Hallman said. “You can see it on the various message boards and fan boards around the league where there are already discussions between towns about their team and their chances of success. It’s so different from previous leagues that we we had in town.

Birmingham’s Protective Stadium will host the first four games of the new United States Football League this weekend. (contributed)

The Alabama Sports Foundation has been involved in the last two professional football leagues and those weren’t good experiences, Hallman said.

“We were owed money with the last one,” he said of the Alliance of American Football. “This (the USFL) has the proper resources, the professionalism, and you can clearly tell they’re in it for the long haul.”

Television, or the lack thereof, was often a challenge for previous leagues in which Birmingham teams played. This version of the USFL is much stronger.

“There’s no question the league is healthy, strong, and long-term,” Hallman said. “Here, you have NBC and Fox in the foreground, and they dedicate network television to more than 50% of the games and the other games will be broadcast on cable television nationwide.

“There is an appetite for television viewing of spring football,” he continued. “Everything about this business plan checks all the boxes and says that as we move forward into this season and subsequent seasons, this is the recipe for success.”

the Birmingham Stallions will face the New Jersey Generals Saturday at Protective stage with a kick-off at 6:30 p.m. The game airs on NBC and Fox. A triple match will follow at the stadium on Sunday. the Houston players face the Michigan Panthers at 11 a.m. on NBC, the Philadelphia Stars face the New Orleans thugs at 3 p.m. on USA and Tampa Bay Bandits meet the Pittsburgh Maulers at 7 p.m. on FS1. To find out more and to ticket informationto visit theusfl.com.

Ticket sales are going very well for the first game, Hallman said, and ticket prices, by design, are extremely affordable at $10 a ticket with kids 15 and under admitted free.

Skip Holtz, trainer of the USFL’s Birmingham Stallions, speaks at an announcement event in January. (Greg Garrison/AL.com)

“This is designed for people who want to participate in an assortment of football,” he said. “A match ticket is good for the whole day and we allow fainting. You can buy a ticket for Sunday, this Sunday, and there are three football games and you can come and go as you please between those three games with one ticket.

“The concept behind ticket pricing is to make it very affordable so that people come often,” said the CEO of ASF. “Not only will the football be entertaining, but the flow of the game itself will be very entertaining. A lot of thought and effort has been put into what happens during time outs, what happens at halftime .

the Miles College band – the purple walking machine – occurs at halftime of the first game and an Easter egg hunt is scheduled for Sunday morning.

Hallman said the USFL provides “something for everyone.” There is a Kid Zone play area for young children. Additionally, there will be giveaways for the first number of fans on select nights.

And there will be theme nights, NASCAR at night when the drivers are in Talladega or WWE night where the wrestlers are nearby and maybe a Atlanta Braves night.

Hallman predicts the on-field football play will also be top-notch, as the league boasts an impressive roster of coaches, including Jeff Fisher, Skip Holtz, Mike Riley, Kevin Sumlin and Bart Andrus.

While the league will use conventional football rules, it will feature unique twists, including the option of a three-point conversion after a touchdown and changes to kickoffs and pass interference.

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