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The United States Football League (USFL) was an American football league that played for three seasons, 1983 through 1985. The league played a spring/summer schedule in each of its active seasons. The 1986 season was scheduled to be played in the autumn/winter, directly competing against the long-established National Football League (NFL). However, the USFL ceased operations before that season was scheduled to begin. The ideas behind the USFL were conceived in 1965 by New Orleans businessman David Dixon, who saw a market for a professional football league that would play in the summer, when the National Football League and college football were in their off-season. Dixon had been a key player in the construction of the Louisiana Superdome and the expansion of the NFL into New Orleans in 1967. He developed "The Dixon Plan"—a blueprint for the USFL based upon securing NFL-caliber stadiums in top TV markets, securing a national TV broadcast contract, and controlling spending—and found investors willing to buy in.