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USFL announces return of the Memphis Showboats

The Memphis Showboats will play at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium with the first game set for April 16, 2023.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The United States Football League (USFL) joined Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland Tuesday to announce that the Memphis Showboats will return to the league for the 2023 spring season. 

The USFL played it's inaugural season last spring with the Birmingham Stallions winning the championship.

The first game will be played April 16, 2023 at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium. Fans can pre-register for tickets at https://www.theusfl.com/ or https://www.ticketmaster.com/.

The USFL said all Memphis home games will be played at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, a big change in year two for the league, as it played all its games in Birmingham in 2022.

USFL Executive Vice President Daryl Johnston said the push to bring the league to Memphis came from FedEx founder and chairman Fred Smith. 

"I can tell you when a man of his stature calls you, you take the call and you listen to the conversation," Johnston said. "It really feels like the community wants us here. It's not like we're coming in here and we have to win you over. It felt like everybody that was involved in that decision on the Memphis side really wanted us to be here."

The USFL originally ran from 1983 to 1985 before folding. 

After a successful first year in their return in 2022, they are poised for another season. Mayor Strickland is confident that the product can last in the Bluff City.

"The USFL has the resources and a plan to make this league a long term success," Strickland said.

Head coach for the Showboats is Todd Haley, who has been with the USFL as head coach and general manager of the Tampa Bay Bandits.

Former Memphis Tiger Brady White has been named as quarterback for the team.

"A lot of pride goes into playing in front of these fans and in that stadium on that turf, so to have the opportunity to do it again with the Showboats, dream come true man," said White.

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