After a 19-year hiatus, the XFL will return next season with eight new teams.
Its outspoken owner, Vince McMahon of WWE fame, first announced the professional football league would return 19 months ago.
The comeback season will kick off the week after the Super Bowl, on February 8, with eight new teams:
- Dallas Renegades
- Houston Roughnecks
- Los Angeles Wildcats
- New York Guardians
- St. Louis Battlehawks
- Seattle Dragons
- Tampa Bay Vipers
- Washington DC Defenders
Here’s a look at the new logos unveiled today:
The XFL operated with eight teams during its one and only season in 2001, with far more outrageous names:
- Birmingham Thunderbolts
- Chicago Enforcers
- Las Vegas Outlaws
- Los Angeles Xtreme
- Memphis Maniax
- New York/New Jersey Hitmen
- Orlando Rage
- San Francisco Demons
Teams in Seattle, New York, and Tampa Bay will play out of the same stadiums as their NFL counterparts, while St Louis will hold games in the former home of the Rams. Los Angeles and Washington will play out of MLS stadiums, Dallas’ home will be at an MLB ballpark, and Houston will play at a college football stadium.
Promising a brand of football that is “faster, with more plays, less stall, fewer interruptions, and no gimmicks,” XFL teams will play a 10-game regular season.
While new rules have yet to be determined, the league is considering a number of interesting tweaks to differentiate it from the NFL.
The most famous rule tweak from the 2001 season included an “opening scramble” to replace the coin toss. Don’t expect that process to continue in 2020, as an opening scramble infamously resulted in a player suffering a separated shoulder during the league’s inaugural season.
This promises to be a more modest unveiling of the XFL this time around, as McMahon has seemingly learned from at least some of his past mistakes.
The pro wrestling mastermind declared the NFL to be the “No Fun League” in 2001, promising the XFL would be the “Extra Fun League.” In reality, many of the WWE-style gimmicks didn’t work, and the league became a punchline.