What’s been a very full sports calendar in September is thinning out with the NHL season over, baseball playing its postseason, and the NBA about to finish. The NFL and college football still fill out four or five days of the week, of course. And now, Fox Sports is looking to fill those gaps in the week with… more football!
Fox has reached an agreement with The Spring League to televise games on Tuesday and Wednesday nights beginning Oct. 27. Composed of six teams, the league will play a 12-game schedule over one month with a championship game to be played the week of Nov. 23. Those 12 games will take place in a bubble environment in San Antonio with games played at the Alamodome.
Yes, the Spring League is playing in October. They’re springing forward as we’re supposed to be falling back. Hey, the NBA Finals are being played in October and we’ll see The Masters in November. The sports calendar has never been more fluent in the time of COVID-19. (For what it’s worth, TSL still plans to play in Spring 2021.)
Going into its fourth season, The Spring League is a developmental football league filling a role that the XFL and AAF (Alliance of American Football) probably should have pursued, rather than a spring alternative to the NFL. According to the league, nearly 100 of its players have been signed to NFL contracts, 65 to CFL agreements.
Most recently, safety Nate Holley signed with the Miami Dolphins and made their 53-man roster. Tight end Paul Butler signed with the New England Patriots in training camp, but was one of the team’s final cuts. Quarterback Johnny Manziel is probably the most famous TSL alum.
According to TSL CEO Brian Woods, the league is benefiting from reduced NFL training camp rosters and the CFL season being canceled, increasing the pool of available players available.
Fox Sports’ agreement with TSL also allows for an option to take a minority stake in the league.
“As we’ve said time and time again, FOX is football. We’re excited to add TSL to our already robust football programming lineup complementing our NFL and college football coverage,” said Mark Silverman, Fox Sports president of national networks, in an official statement.
“We believe in TSL’s mission as a developmental league and we are excited to grow with them in partnership over the coming years.”
Game schedules and broadcast teams have yet to be announced. But with play set to kick off in just over three weeks, that information will surely be released soon.