Pro football’s Memphis Showboats returning to city in 2023

Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 10:00 AM CST

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Professional football is coming back to Memphis.

The Memphis Showboats will be playing at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium in 2023.

They’re part of the revamped USFL, which played its inaugural season in 2022.

The Memphis team is not an expansion team--they are a rebrand of the Tampa Bay Bandits and will inherit their roster, which includes former Memphis Tigers quarterback Brady White.

The team is led by head coach Todd Haley. He’s the former head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs and led the Bandits to a 4-6 record last season.

Daryl “Moose” Johnston, USFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, says their goal was to have a successful spring football league that could make it past one season--a goal they’ve already accomplished.

“We know Memphis fans have seen other football leagues come and go. But the USFL has already proven that we have staying power,” Johnston said. “Being here today to make this announcement is proof of that long-term commitment to professional football fans.”

“Because the USFL is an agile league that is fast and fearless to improve, we’re able to take advantage of outstanding opportunities, which is what brings us to Memphis today,” Johnston said. “The USFL has come home to Memphis because fans here share our passion to celebrate football as much as we do.”

The original Memphis Showboats were in Memphis for 2 seasons.
The original Memphis Showboats were in Memphis for 2 seasons.(Action News 5 Archives)

The Showboats name harkens back to the original Memphis Showboats, who were apart of the original USFL in 1984 and 1985.

The original Showboats notably employed future Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White as well as future pro wrestling star Lex Luger.

Memphis will also host the Houston Gamblers for the 2023 season

The Showboats home opener will be on April 16. You can make a ticket deposit for $25 to lock in priority access toward the first game or 2023 season tickets. Click here to see tickets.

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