The business of reviving the XFL has started.
The new owners of the XFL led by The Rock, the one-time college football player turned wrestler turned actor, Dwayne Johnson, are contacting the people who ran the stadiums in the eight cities that had XFL franchises in 2020. The twice failed league plans to make a return in 2022 with Johnson hoping that the third time’s a charm for the league. The old XFL cities included St. Louis and the people who run the city’s domed stadium have listened to the XFL’s opening pitch. Johnson and his partners didn’t have to invest much in getting the league from a bankruptcy judge, just $15 million. Now comes the critical part. How do you reinvent the wheel? The 2020 version of the XFL and the 2019 Alliance of American Football did reasonably well out of the gate on TV when the league’s kicked off after the Super Bowl and then the ratings plummeted. As the weather got warmer, as other sports options multiplied on TV, the interest in the XFL and AAF dwindled. The third version of the XFL is coming back and faces a question that Johnson and his partners cannot answer. Will COVID-19 still be a problem in 2022? Established sports leagues cannot predict what sports will look like in 2021 much less 2022.
Assuming there is a COVID-19 vaccine and effective treatments and the XFL can resume safely, Johnson and his partners are staring at a long history of football league failures including the XFL 2001 and XFL 2020. Spring leagues have not succeeded. The United States Football League lasted three years, the Spring Football League operated for a few games in 2000. The first attempt at spring football was the Trans-America Football League which operated for one season in 1971. All failed. But the new XFL investors are trying again.