XFL Passes Over Major Markets

The league is planning a February kickoff.

The third version of the XFL has finally named what cities will have teams in 2023. Arlington, Texas will be getting a team playing at the Texas Rangers old baseball park. Houston will have both an XFL and USFL team in 2023 although it isn’t clear if the USFL’s Houston Gamblers will actually play a home game in the city. Orlando, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Seattle, St. Louis and Washington are the other cities in the league. The XFL is not going into major markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia or San Francisco. Three of the eight teams are in Texas where football is king. St. Louis did reasonably well in attendance during the 2020 version of the XFL. The XFL is going to be minor league football at best and is going to compete with the United States Football League for players. Just a few of the players might be good enough to make an NFL roster. The XFL does have a five-year TV deal with the Walt Disney Company, giving Disney exclusive broadcasting rights for all gameday content on its ESPN, ABC and FX platforms.

The XFL owners, led by the actor Dwayne Johnson, planned to start in 2022 but that kickoff date was pushed back to 2023 which will be almost  three years after the second XFL’s final play. Johnson and his partners didn’t have to invest much in getting the XFL out of bankruptcy, spending just $15 million. The league is set to begin on February 18th, 2023 with a 40-game regular season, two playoff games and one championship game. But springtime is a very crowded sports time with many major events when the majority of XFL games will be played and that may be troublesome for the business that has failed twice before.

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Dwayne Johnson