The new USFL‘s opening weekend got off to a good start in terms of viewership across the Fox/NBC opening game simulcast Saturday, and there was some praise for broadcast innovations as well (but less for the play of some particular names). However, the league’s final game wound up having to be moved thanks to weather. This edition of the USFL has its entire regular season set to be played in Birmingham, Alabama, and severe thunderstorms in the area Sunday night meant the Tampa Bay Bandits-Pittsburgh Maulers game was moved to Monday:
Weather was nice for a while, but another storm is rolling into Birmingham. Word is the final game of the night between the Tampa Bay Bandits & the Pittsburgh Maulers might be moved to tomorrow. Stay tuned.
— Emily Van Buskirk (@Emilnem) April 17, 2022
The Pittsburgh Maulers’ first game back in the USFL against the Tampa Bay Bandits has been rescheduled “to the risk of severe weather.” A rescheduled date / start time will be released later tonight. pic.twitter.com/CyRardarL6
— Johnny McGonigal (@jmcgonigal9) April 18, 2022
That game was initially set for an 8 p.m. Eastern broadcast on FS1, with a broadcast crew of Curt Menefee (play-by-play), Joel Klatt (analyst), and Brock Huard (analyst). It will now air on FS1 Monday night at 7 p.m. Eastern, presumably with that same broadcast crew:
The Tampa Bay Bandits and Pittsburgh Maulers USFL game tonight has been postponed due to weather. The game will now be played tomorrow night with coverage of the game starting at 7 p.m. according to FS1.
— Austin Bechtold (@AustinRBechtold) April 18, 2022
Severe weather delays happen, and the USFL is fortunate that this one only impacted a single game; with all regular-season USFL games set to be played in the same location, there’s definitely the potential for adverse weather to wipe out multiple games. And having a game on Monday night isn’t bad from a broadcast standpoint either, especially as this was already a cable game (if it had been set for broadcast Fox or NBC, that might have either caused rescheduling issues with their regular lineup or led to the game being moved to cable). But it is interesting that the league’s first weekend saw a weather-impacted game.
[Austin Bechtold on Twitter; image via Johnny McGonigal/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Twitter]