The United States Football League comes out of 40 years of retirement, this time without Donald Trump

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The football league, returning after an infamous three-season stint in the 1980s, is part of a wider rebranding effort around its host city of Birmingham, Alabama.

After a nearly 40-year hiatus, the United States Football League (USFL) returns tomorrow.

This coincides with the release of a new TV spot that aims to show the city of Birmingham, Alabama – which will host its entire 43-game season – in a new light.

The USFL – not to be confused with the National Football League (NFL) – was originally launched in 1983 with the goal of providing American football fans with something to watch before the start of the college football season and of the NFL at the end of the summer. The league collapsed after just three seasons. Many blamed its collapse on then-future President Donald Trump, who owned the New Jersey Generals, one of the league’s original eight teams. He pushed aggressively for the league to compete directly with the NFL, eventually convincing his co-owners to try a fall season in 1986. The entire organization soon went bankrupt and dissolved.

Now the USFL is gearing up for a comeback. The 2022 league season begins tomorrow in Birmingham with a game between the New Jersey Generals (no longer owned by Trump) and the Birmingham Stallions. All games will air on Fox and NBC.

The new iteration of the league will feature each of the original eight teams that played in the 80s.

The revival of the USFL is part of a broader rebranding effort for the city of Birmingham – a city that is associated in the minds of many Americans with its history of racial segregation and violence, the commissioner said. of Jefferson County, Steve Ammons. “A lot of times when you say ‘Birmingham’ people think of garden hoses, dogs and sit-ins in certain restaurants. We’re a long way from where we were in the 60s and 70s. We’re a different place… we are so much more than our history.

With this in mind, the City of Birmingham has released a new advertisement, intended to present Birmingham as a haven of diversity, creative expression and cosmopolitanism. The new spot, created by agency Big Communications, is geared around the acronym BHM – Birmingham’s airport code – which has been revamped to convey the message: “Birmingham has more”.

It will be a big year for sport in Birmingham: the start of the 2022 USFL season will be followed by the World Games, which begin in the city in July.

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