With a little more than six months until the start of the XFL season, the league is expanding to three new cities and making Arlington, Texas, its headquarters for the 2023 season. This is the league’s third try.
The XFL is relaunching
This year, the league has three new teams: Las Vegas, San Antonio, and Orlando, Florida. At the start of the league again in 2020, there were teams in Houston, Seattle, St. Louis, Washington, and Arlington.
The league’s owners, actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, his longtime business partner Dany Garcia, and RedBird Capital Partners, announced on Sunday where the teams would be located and which of the previously announced coaches would be working with each team.
“The passion of the fans is what makes a league come to life,” Garcia said in a statement. “In each of these cities, we will work with our fans to build these teams from the ground up so that they reflect the unique parts of our communities.
Johnson said that he was “proud” to say where the headquarters would be on Monday.
Johnson said on Twitter, “This football-rich community is the perfect place for us to teach our players the XFL culture and DNA.” “Now we get to work, which is the fun part.”
As the league continues to get ready for its Feb. 18, 2023, start date, here’s a look back at its history and what might be different this time.
When was the XFL founded?
In 2001, Vince McMahon, who was the chairman and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment at the time, and Dick Ebersol, who was the chairman of NBC Sports, got together to start the XFL. A lot of things went wrong with the league that year, but maybe the most important thing was that the football wasn’t very interesting to watch.
There were big differences between the league and the NFL. Changes to the rules made the game more dangerous and more dangerous. It was brought to the attention of the teams that cheerleaders are attractive to men. There was a push for players to put their nicknames on their jerseys.
But when McMahon brought his own style to the league and helped sell it, players and coaches had less than two months to prepare and practice, and when the teams took the field, it seemed like all the hype was overblown.
At the start of the season, there was a lot of interest, but it didn’t last. When the season ended in April, it seemed like the end of the league.
In 2020, the league got a new start, but then the pandemic hit.
Nearly 20 years later, McMahon said that the league would be back in 2020. The strategy seemed to have changed, as many of the WWE’s tricks were no longer used. Instead, this new version of the XFL puts more emphasis on the game and player safety by changing the rules to make injuries less likely.
The level of the game has really gone up, and as a result, we have access to about 500 of the best football players in the country who aren’t under contract with another professional football league. These players are good, said Oliver Luck, the former commissioner of the XFL, to NPR in 2020. Now, having said that, we know it’s a challenge, and we’re going into this with our eyes wide open. But we think there’s a good chance that we can set up a league that people will want to watch.
Luck said that the 10-game season was on its way to becoming the kind of league he was talking about, but then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. The seasons of sports leagues were cut short, and while most of them came back a few months later in a bubble, the XFL did not. Nearly all of the league’s employees were fired, and the league quickly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
In a statement about its end, the league said, “The XFL quickly won the hearts and imaginations of millions of football fans.” Unfortunately, as a new business, we were not protected from the COVID-19 crisis’s harsh economic effects and uncertainty.
In the fall of that year, Johnson, Garcia, and RedBird Capital Partners paid $15 million to buy the league.
The XFL 2023 is coming, but we don’t know everything about it yet.
The cities and head coaches for the 2023 season have been announced, but the team names and mascots have not. The coaches are a mix of former NFL and college head coaches and retired NFL players. Even though the league just finished its last showcase for potential players on Sunday in Arlington, rosters have not been released either.
Even though game dates and times haven’t been announced yet, the XFL is already taking deposits on tickets, which start at $50. Fans who want to watch from home can do so. In May, the league made a deal with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN to show games on TV. The deal lasts until 2027, which shows that this version of the XFL is meant to last longer than just one season.
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