By Ryan Michaels
The Birmingham Times
On Tuesday, Birmingham leaders kicked off spring football in the city by declaring Saturday, April 16 as USFL Day.
The inaugural USFL season begins this weekend at Protective Stadium with the Birmingham Stallions facing off against the New Jersey Generals. The game starts at 6:30 p.m.
“I want to encourage the fans in Birmingham and other USFL teams’ cities and across the nation, to attend and promote and participate in USFL games, not only in person, but to experience our beautiful city,” said Mayor Randall Woodfin.
Hosting the USFL’s first season in Birmingham is a “classic example of a genuine partnership,” said Woodfin, pointing the collaboration with the city, the Jefferson County Commission, state legislators and Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Council President Wardine Alexander agreed. “Collectively, we’ve worked together to bring this to the residents, to the city of Birmingham and to the world through the simulcasting of the games, so we’re excited for what this will do, not only for our residents, but for the state of Alabama,” Alexander said.
Councilor Hunter Williams said the USFL has “kept true” to its word in seeking to connect with the Birmingham community. “I want to thank you for that because that doesn’t always happen when someone comes in the city and wants to be a partner with us,” he said.
USFL Vice President of Operations Daryl “Moose” Johnston, who was a fullback for the Dallas Cowboys through three Super Bowl wins, said Birmingham, like the championship Cowboys, has been “great teammates.”
“What we’ve found here in the city of Birmingham are people that we can work with moving forward that have been great teammates and see a bigger vision than just one season for the USFL here in the city of Birmingham,” Johnston said.
The league exec said the USFL is committed to becoming a part of the Birmingham community through youth clinics and cleanup days. “Our players have responded to that, and sometimes we get as much or more satisfaction out of events like that than the people that we’re working with in the city,” Johnston said.
He added that Birmingham has positioned itself to be an important city for hosting sports now and in the future. “It really has the potential to be something very, very special, and not a lot of people know about that,” Johnston said.
For a schedule of upcoming games or to buy tickets, visit https://theusfl.com.