The United States Football League announced Wednesday morning that Canton, Ohio, will be the host site for the Pittsburgh Maulers and New Jersey Generals. The two teams will also practice in the shadow of the Pro Football Hall of Fame during the 2023 regular season, which will start April 23.
The interest that the league garnered while holding its playoffs in the same location last spring was a driving force behind the decision. Canton is about a two-hour drive from downtown Pittsburgh.
“The outstanding regional support we received during our first postseason from football fans in Ohio and Pennsylvania, including the great city of Pittsburgh, coupled with our successful partnership with the Hall of Fame Village, led to this moment,” said Daryl Johnston, the USFL’s Executive Vice President of Football Operations.
“You have football fans all over the country, but there’s a passion that exists here in this part of the country that you don’t find a lot of other places,” said Curt Menefee, the USFL’s lead announcer. “That was shown last year when the championship game was played here. And we saw a packed house … just enjoying the atmosphere. And that showed on television, which made a better broadcast for us. But, it was really something special.”
This news comes after the Maulers adopted new black and gold colors to be uniform with the rest of Pittsburgh sports teams on Tuesday.
On Sunday, April 23, the Maulers and Generals will clash in Canton’s first regular season contest. Pittsburgh went 1-9 last year and finished last in the North Division, while New Jersey finished the regular season 9-1 and reached the playoffs.
The North Division Playoff Game and USFL Championship Game will also be back at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Dates and times will be ironed out later.
Michael Crawford, Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Company Chief Executive Officer, said, “The USFL is a fan-first league, so we’re creating a fun and affordable entertainment destination here in Canton where football fans can cheer on the Pittsburgh Maulers, New Jersey Generals, and other USFL teams while experiencing a wide variety of programming and activities throughout the Hall of Fame Village before and after games.”
It’s expected that Detroit will be announced as the league’s fourth hub on Thursday. Birmingham and Memphis will also be hosting regular-season matchups.