The XFL Starts In Seven Weeks With Little Fanfare

There are long odds against it succeeding.  

In seven weeks, Vince McMahon’s rebooted XFL starts play and there is a big question. Do Americans need more football in the spring time? The Alliance of American Football went Chapter 7 or total business death after failing to get through the 2019 winter-spring calendar. Vince McMahon has a couple things going for him in terms of getting attention. Wide spread legalized sports gambling and fantasy sports, neither existed in 2001 when McMahon’s original XFL took the field. McMahon’s league did have a line at Nevada sportsbooks. McMahon has managed to cobble together TV contracts although it is unknown how much money the networks will deliver his way. Based on what is projected to be the annual salary of about $55,000 per player, the TV money is probably at a very low level.

It is estimated that McMahon in total has sold $400 million of his WWE stock to finance the XFL. Unless McMahon is reinventing the wheel, the XFL is not going to be offering a product that will differ much from the AAF. His league will feature players looking for a second or third or fourth chance at making a National Football League roster. McMahon is offering yet another spring football league. Every spring endeavor has ended in failure. The United States Football League, which lasted three years between 1983 and 1985, had a lot of things going for them, a TV deal, the use of NFL stadiums and fan interest. Ultimately league owners could not manage budgets and lost millions upon millions of dollars and while the league did win an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL in 1986, a jury awarded USFL owners a buck that was tripled and the USFL owners threw in the towel. Spring time football is a costly endeavor which is why it has not been a success.