DETROIT (WOOD) — Ahead of its second season, the United States Football League has announced that Detroit will serve as the home base for two teams in 2023.
The Michigan Panthers and the Philadelphia Stars will be based at Ford Field this year.
During the inaugural season last spring, the professional football league played every regular season game exclusively in Birmingham, Alabama. All three playoff games were relocated to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
The announcement comes on the heels of the 40th anniversary of the Michigan Panthers winning the original USFL championship in 1983. In 2022, the USFL began its second reiteration after a three-season stint in the mid-80s.
In that inaugural championship game, the Panthers defeated the Philadephia Stars. The Stars lost the 2022 championship to the Birmingham Stallions in July.
Along with Detroit, three other cities will serve as hubs for the eight USFL teams: Birmingham will serve as the home base for the Stallions and the New Orleans Breakers, Canton will host the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New Jersey Generals and Memphis, Tennessee will house the Houston Gamblers and the newly-introduced Memphis Showboats. The Showboats replaced the Tampa Bay Bandits.
The Panthers had a disappointing season in 2022, finishing third in the North Division with a 2-8 record. This comes after they had the first overall pick in the inaugural USFL Draft, selecting former University of Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson. Patterson was subsequently released by the team later in the season.
The Panthers did secure the first overall pick again in the 2023 draft after defeating the Maulers in the final game of the season. The draft is projected to take place sometime in late February.
A press conference will be held from Ford Field Thursday at 11 a.m. where USFL Vice President of Operations Darryl Johnston, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and former Heisman winner Charles Woodson will address the media. Panthers’ head coach and former NFL coach Jeff Fisher will also be in attendance.