The first season of the re-booted USFL will take place far from “home” for the Pittsburgh Maulers, but the 2022 USFL playoffs and championship game will be a lot closer.
Each game for the 10-game 2022 regular season will be played in Birmingham, Alabama, for all eight teams, including the Maulers, who were revived after playing just one season in the original league in 1983.
The games in Birmingham will be split between Protective Stadium, the new home of UAB football, and historic Legion Field. But due to a scheduling conflict, the postseason will not be able to take place in Alabama.
Instead, the USFL will host its playoff and championship games in Canton, Ohio, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, adjacent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Should the Maulers make the postseason, that would put them just a two hour drive from their “home fans” in Pittsburgh.
“We’re excited to play our first playoffs and championship game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium,” said USFL vice president Edward Hartman said in a press release. “It’s a beautiful stadium with all the facilities necessary to host football at the highest level, and we look forward to crowning our first champion in the shadow of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
The USFL season starts April 16, with playoff games happening in Canton the weekend of June 25 and the USFL Championship Game to be played on July 3.
“We are honored that the state-of-the-art Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium was selected as the destination for the USFL’s 2022 playoff,” Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company president Mike Levy said. “Our facility and campus will provide the perfect setting and backdrop for the USFL’s inaugural playoffs and championships, offering fans and guests visiting our destination multiple opportunities to be engaged at the birthplace of professional football.”
The Maulers are one of eight historic brands revived for the 2022 season, along with the Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers, Tampa Bandits, Michigan Panthers, New Jersey Generals and Philadelphia Stars.
Other than the Stallions, the league has not announced any plans for any teams to play in their home markets at any point in the future.
The teams will begin to select players at a league meeting on Feb. 22 and 23. Training camp will start in March.