XFL, USFL announce plan to merge football leagues. What does it mean for the Battlehawks?

The USFL and XFL on Thursday each announced their intention to merge into a single spring football league.

“Subject to customary regulatory approvals and if the transaction is consummated, the new league will establish best-in-class operations based on the most recent seasons of both leagues,” read the statement on the XFL website. “This historic combination will anchor professional spring football with substantial capabilities and resources to ensure future growth and continue to enhance the development of the collective players, coaches, and staff that are coming together.”

The leagues also noted that additional details will be revealed at a later date.

The new USFL, which has been playing for two seasons, is owned by Fox Corporation and had a broadcast agreement that included NBC.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, business partner Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital Partner purchased the XFL out of bankruptcy proceedings from Vince McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment.

Forbes reported the first year of the XFL reboot in spring 2023 lost $60 million. But St. Louis’ entry into the XFL, the Battlehawks, has been a success story. St. Louis led the league in attendance by a wide margin, and was forced by demand for tickets to open up the upper levels of the Dome.

Last season, they narrowly missed the playoffs behind quarterback AJ McCarron, the league’s most valuable player. He has since signed on with the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL, the team that drafted him out of Alabama in 2014.

Brian Hill, a graduate of Belleville West, was the team’s top rusher.

Disney is the featured media partner of XFL games.

McMahon started the XFL in 2001, but the league was shuttered before 2002. He pulled all of the levers to bring it back in 2020 but those plans were ultimately derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.