I saw that the USFL has picked Canton as one of the 4 cities where they will hold regular season games. To me, this is good for the USFL and good for the City of Canton and the HOF project. Sure, the USFL isn't the NFL. But they are trying to grow it smartly; unlike prior iterations of these off-season football leagues. Will it work? Will it be a viable model? Who knows! But, no matter what, it's positive publicity for Canton and the HOV. Can't be viewed as anything other than a positive.
last year the usfl used one location as their business model isn't about ticket sales but rather tv contract and commercial sales via that contract. Plus the league kept costs down with travel for teams and tv. This year they expand to 4 destinations which will accommodate the TV contract and allow for more people to come see them.
There's a few reasons the USFL did as they did. One, yes, they only are really focused on TV viewership for revenue. In the days of streaming and cord cutting, live sports is still a HUGE advertising target. That million or so average that USFL got in 2022 (which is less than the worst NBC game XFL did in 2001) is now coveted because they're commercials that tend to have people sit through. People don't generally watch sports on DVR. They watch them live.
However, they didn't quite expect the numbers of in stadium attendance to be as low as they were for the non-Birmingham games. Not that they were bad, but just well below their expectations. They went to four sites (and therefore, four stadium rentals, up to 4 teams traveling each week, 4 teams selling tickets, etc) not because in house crowds are going to be that much better (there's still four teams without homes), but because by having teams now in new markets that will also help the TV numbers. The ones that actually matter to them. Detroit, Pittsburgh and Memphis might actually care and it wouldn't take a huge bump in local numbers to see a small boost in national numbers.
The big issue with Canton is that this was a fallback option. USFL went to Memphis having to get rid of Tampa Bay. Going with two northern sites, they weren't going to a Philly or NJ stadium, so Pittsburgh was the only other option. And if you know southwest PA, there are no other stadiums that seat over 10k other than Heinz/Acrisure Stadium. Seriously. The Wolvarena (Woodland Hills) and Neumann (North Allegheny) are the only stadiums that reach the 10k threshold. And Wolvarena is tough to say because two whole sections even lack bleachers to call them 'seats'. It's just concrete steps. And besides, Wolvarena would be out anyways due to the lack of parking and sideline space.
The only 'high level' stadium that seats over 10k in western PA that 1) has parking, 2) has sideline space, and 3) has adequate lighting would be Slippery Rock's Mihalik-Thompson Stadium that seats about 12k.
Turns out, SRU now has capacity listed at 10k. I'm guessing the last rehab shrunk capacity for ADA compliance (wider aisles and railings).
USFL wanted a Pittsburgh based stadium. But there just aren't any. They went with the best option. The stadium that hosted the playoffs the previous year (and scheduled to host in 2023 as well), but since it was a last minute plan, they missed the boat (figuratively), by pulling a Memphis Showboats and making one of the teams either an Ohio/Cleveland/Canton moniker and really have driven up attendance.
A Pittsburgh/Cleveland rivalry both based out of Canton with at least two 'showdowns' in Canton would've been something interesting and probably a sell out just due to the animosity between the two cities in football. Instead, you've got the Generals that only the football mad crowd would attend when the Maulers aren't there to play.
Though, if attendance does go well in Canton, 2024 might see them hosting an Ohio themed team (be it Ohio, Cleveland, or Canton). But again, TV eyeballs is the primary care. I don't see USFL going straight to 8 host sites in 2024. If anything, they'll add more teams and only a few more host sites if any. Trying to drum up viewers for their labeled yet vagabond teams.
As for the four host sites. It will most likely be each city will host one game a weekend. Which means TV crews shouldn't need to travel at all. They'd be locals based in each market. And only 8 weeks out of 10 will one of the two 'host' teams need to leave their host cities. The other team will always be at home, and twice they'll play each other. Again, limiting travel greatly.