Despite having yet to play its first snap — not scheduled until after the 2020 Super Bowl — XFL appears to already be looking into possible expansion. In addition to the eight announced host cities, domain names have been registered for Philly Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Minnesota, Nashville, Orlando, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and San Francisco.
By Steve Kelly
You gotta’ hand it to Vince McMahon:
He failed spectacularly with the XFL 17 years ago.
And now he’s coming back for more!
During a press conference at MetLife Stadium that touched upon the league’s emphasis on technology and innovation, brevity, fan engagement and player safety, XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck—introduced by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon—announced the eight XFL cities and venues, which are as follows:
|New York/New Jersey, N.Y.||MetLife Stadium||82,500|
|Dallas, Tx.||Globe Life Park||52,419|
|Houston, Tx.||TDECU Stadium||40,000|
|Los Angeles, Calif.||StubHub Center||27,000|
|St. Louis, Mo.||The Dome at America’s Center||66,965|
|Seattle, Wash.||CenturyLink Field||72,000|
|Tampa Bay, Fla.||Raymond James Stadium||65,890|
|Washington, D.C.||Audi Field||20,000|
Attendance issues figure to be an early concern for an upstart league running massive stadiums. Even the XFL’s smallest stadium, Audi Field, holds 20,000. Its second-smallest stadium, the StubHub Center—where the NFL’s otherwise red-hot Los Angeles Chargers have struggled in filling the venue—holds 27,000, while its largest venue in MetLife Stadium has a capacity of 82,500. Similar issues resulted in half-empty venues throughout the league during the XFL’s previously failed run.
And while there are valid logistical concerns about the viability of another American football league, especially with the Alliance of American Football getting the jump on the XFL in February of 2019, McMahon has remained aggressive in funding the self-financed league.
In addition to the aforementioned $100 million, McMahon recently sold 306,000 shares of his WWE stock for over $22 million. The $22,866,523.61 haul is presumed to be more financing for the XFL, though this has not been confirmed, and McMahon reportedly estimated he planned to spend over $500 million in the league’s first three seasons according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.