As of right now it is looking more and more likely that Michigan could be the hub in the North for Season 2 of the USFL. As one of the most followed teams, it is not a stretch to think that the North games could have a good turnout, so playing at a small recreational field is not an option. These are my picks for what stadium the USFL should look into to play in for the coming season. Now as much as I like Ford Stadium and how much it has to offer in terms of football, it is a little big and pricey for a USFL game. Along this same reasoning I threw out Spartan Field and the Big House as well, but you should know those three would be my top choices due to their quality and size.
8. Atwood Stadium
Located in Flint, Michigan and home to the Kettering Bulldogs. This is fairly low on my list because of its location. It would be very good for the city of Flint in economic terms, but not as beneficial for the USFL. The city does not have much of a draw and it is unlikely people will want to travel to Flint to watch the Panthers play. As for the stadium, it was built in 1928, but newly renovated in 2015. It holds about 11,000 which is the right size for a starting league.
7. Rynearson Stadium
"The Factory" is located in Ypsilanti Michigan and home to the Eastern Michigan Eagles. I really like the location of this stadium because it is the closest option to the other states represented in the USFL. Ypsi is a cute little town that will be on the cheaper side to travel to if you are trying to watch your favorite team play. The stadium itself holds 30,000 but has not been renovated recently, so that could be a deciding factor for a professional team. Overall, I do not mind this as the first location for the Panthers to call home, but it likely wouldn't be permanent. As an added bonus, if you know anything about Ypsi, then you know that it is where the first domino's pizza was started. It would be pretty cool to see where Dominos all began.
6. Kelly/Shorts Stadium
Opened in 1972, Kelly/Shorts Stadium is home to the Central Michigan Chippewas. This is the biggest stadium in the Mid-American Conference with a capacity of 30,255. It also comes with the bonus of an indoor practice facility, which the North teams could utilize for practice some days. The stadium is located in Mount Pleasant, which is a college town. It is not a huge travel destination, but it does have some draws to it. There are lots of parks and museums that can be a good draw to get people to come stay for a game. Overall, the stadium is about the same as the others on this list, but it does have that indoor facility and a pretty good location.
5. Waldo Stadium
If you are wondering, "Where's Waldo?" Then look no further than Kalamazoo Michigan. Home to the Western Michigan Broncos, this stadium can hold 30,200 people and is newly renovated (2015). This stadium also comes with a bonus of Seelye Center indoor practice facility. Much like the others, this stadium is the right size for a USFL audience. The location is pretty far South in Michigan, making the drive easier from almost anywhere in the United States. Kalamazoo is in a great location between Detroit and Chicago. It has a gorgeous downtown, a very nice mall, and lots of breweries. This is a bigger stadium in a bigger city that could make for a great destination for a Northern Hub.
4. Superior Dome
Coming in at my top spot for smaller stadiums is the largest wooden dome in the world. This Northern Michigan Wildcat stadium is in Marquette Michigan and holds about 8000. This small seating would limit some games, but let's be honest the turnout for season 1 was not great to begin with. For a year this awesome dome could easily support games in the North. It is in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan so it would be a hike to get there, but Marquette is the largest city up there. It is right on Lake Superior and will be a great temperature come April. Not that temperature matters because it is inside! It would also be a nice advantage to be able to kick field goals indoors.
3. Michigan Stadium
The Big House would be an awesome place to play, but it comes in third because of its size. There is no way we fill a 120,000 seat stadium, and the outcome would be disheartening and make the league look bad with how empty it is. I will say it is a great location in Ann Arbor, right outside of Detroit. It is also a very high quality stadium that would make practice and games more enjoyable for the players.
2. Spartan Stadium
This stadium is smaller than its rival counterpart. This would be more beneficial to the USFL because we could fill it more. It is also in a great location of East Lansing, Michigan. Honestly, either of these big college stadiums would be very nice to play in. 1. Ford Field
Guys this is the dream, but I doubt it would ever become a reality. Ford is a 60,000 capacity field in Detroit. Unfortunately, the USFL is a competitor of the NFL and it is unlikely the Lions will want to share their stadium with a league that sued them in 1986. It would also be very expensive for Fox, and that money could be going to players, coaches, and promotions. Fingers crossed, but don't get your hopes up.
Let me know on Discord if you agree or not, or if you have any other suggestions for fields!