MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Welcome home Showboats! The United States Football League is once again setting up shop in the Bluff City.

League leaders and Memphis’ mayor made the announcement on Tuesday. The Showboats, who played in Memphis back in the ‘80s will return for games this spring.

There’s a lot of excitement from local leaders with the mayor calling the league, “The real deal.” He believes it will not only grow, but the popularity of it will as well.

With Tuesday’s announcement, the Showboats will come home to Memphis in 2023.

USFL leaders say the professional spring football league offers a fan friendly and affordable experience.

“Just to feel the energy level of the people and everybody in this room I think is really exciting stuff,” Head Coach Todd Haley said.

Longtime Memphians may remember the USFL Showboats is where pro-football hall of famer, Reggie White started back in the ‘80s. 

“I think there’s enough holdover from back in the 80s with Reggie White and stuff I think people will really be excited and support the team and then it’s up to us to get the job done,” Haley said.

Memphians will also see a familiar face leading the team on the field. Former University of Memphis quarterback Brady White will suit up as a Showboat.

“It’s a very special place, especially the stadium that’s behind me. A lot of pride, a lot of pride goes into playing in front of these fans,” White said.

League and city leaders are crediting the influence of FedEx Founder and Executive Chairman Fred Smith, for bringing the team back to the Bluff City.

“The USFL has the resources and a plan to make this league a long-term success,” Mayor Jim Strickland said. “They will grow this league and its popularity and it will rank favorably with other established spring sports in just a matter of a few years.” 

The inaugural game is set to kick off Sunday, April 16.