USFL championship game 2022 free live stream: How to watch Birmingham Stallions vs. Philadelphia Stars
CANTON, Ohio — The reborn USFL will crown its first champion on Sunday at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton when the Birmingham Stallions face the Philadelphia Stars. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
The Stallions earned their spot in Sunday night’s final by beating the New Orleans Breakers, 31-19, in the playoffs. Philadelphia beat the New Jersey Generals, 19-14, in the other playoff matchup.
What: 2022 USFL Championship Game.
Who: Birmingham Stallions (9-1) vs. Philadelphia Stars (6-4).
When: Sunday, July 3, 2022.
Time: 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
Check out some of what Joe Reedy of the Associated Press wrote about the USFL already looking ahead to its second season.
The USFL accomplished what the last two attempts at spring football failed to do — make it through its first season.
As the league prepares for Sunday night’s championship game between the Birmingham Stallions and Philadelphia Stars at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, where it goes from here is the bigger question.
Fox Sports president Eric Shanks announced earlier this week that the USFL will return next season. Ratings have been steady, with games averaging 1.034 million viewers on Fox and NBC. The overall average is lower (715,000) when games on USA Network and FS1 are included.
While those ratings are slightly above the 2019 Alliance of American Football, which ceased operations after eight weeks, they are behind the 2020 XFL viewership average of 1.9 million. The XFL ceased operations midway through its season, mostly due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think we’ve said pretty consistently that the number one goal for this season was to establish that we could do viewership at the same level as other sports that have been part of the spring calendar for a long time (Formula 1, Major League Soccer, English Premier League). I think we’ve more than held our own,” Fox Sports executive vice president Michael Mulvihill said.
The league took a huge step toward ensuring financial stability by playing all of its regular-season games in Birmingham, Alabama. League officials announced 17,500 fans took in the first game on April 16 between the Stallions and New Jersey Generals but did not release figures for the other 39 games, which appeared to be played in a mostly-empty stadium.
The plans for next year include the same eight teams, but they will play games in at least two cities or as many as four.
The league was able to adjust to concerns throughout the season. The sensor inside the football for tracking was altered after feedback from quarterbacks and kickers about it how it was affecting them. The league also expanded rosters due to injury concerns late in the year.
“This league was put together by people that understand what an alternative football league is about,” Philadelphia coach Bart Andrus said. “People may have experienced the other part of it, losing the league or not having one make it. But they understand what it takes. I think that’s been the difference.”
Besides Shanks, the USFL includes former Dallas Cowboys standout and Fox NFL commentator Daryl Johnston as executive vice president of football operations, along with Brian Woods, the founder of The Spring League, as president of football operations and Mike Pereira as the head of officiating.
“We will always consider ourselves as a standalone professional football league that hopefully continues to build that relationship with the NFL,” Johnston said. “There are some things that we’re talking about internally that hopefully will come to fruition. We want to create that synergy with them, where it’s a relationship that benefits both sides.”
USFL games averaged 2 hours, 58 minutes, which is 14 minutes faster than an NFL game. While league officials were happy with the game pace, they would like to see more plays and more attempts at 2- and 3-point conversions.