XFL announces start date, team cities and venues

The revival of the XFL took its next step at a media event in New Jersey today.

Vince McMahon announced that the first season of the league’s revival will begin on February 8-9, 2020, which is the weekend after the NFL’s Super Bowl. XFL commissioner and CEO Oliver Luck said the start date gives them the time they need to get the game, the fan experience, and their partnerships right.

The inaugural season will feature eight teams. The host cities (which had already been inadvertently revealed on the league’s website) and venues were confirmed today:

New York (MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey)
Dallas (Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas)
Houston (TDECU Stadium in Houston, Texas)
Los Angeles (StubHub Center in Carson, California)
St. Louis (The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis, Missouri)
Seattle (CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington)
Tampa Bay (Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida)
Washington D.C. (Audi Field in Washington D.C.)

St. Louis is the only one of those cities without an NFL team.

Instead of having individual owners, all of the XFL teams will be owned by the league. Luck noted that they’re well on their way to identifying their team presidents and head coaches. The coaches will also be the general managers of their teams. The XFL plans on filling the team president and head coach positions in the first quarter of 2019, which is also their timeframe for signing quarterbacks and other impact players.

Team names will be announced in the coming months.

Luck said he believes there’s a big player pool they’ll recruit from, including inviting players who are released when the NFL finalizes its rosters to try out. The XFL will scout, run mini-camps, hold local tryouts, and have an XFL draft and supplemental draft.

A television/media rights deal wasn’t announced at today’s event. Luck said they’re “very excited about the meaningful and deep conversations we’ve had with all of the major media players about our distribution plans.” He said the XFL is confident that their games will be widely available on multiple platforms when the league launches. McMahon also mentioned that there’s a clamoring for live sporting events on many networks.

The XFL continued to push the idea of “reimagining” football, with Luck saying that they want to complement fall football. The four areas they’re focusing on for the on-field product are the speed of the game, increasing meaningful on-field action, creating more in-game rhythm and flow, and improving player safety.

Luck said the XFL will test for performance-enhancing drugs.

It was noted that the XFL is watching the development of sports gambling in the U.S. The league is a proponent of giving fans a legal and safe way to participate in gambling.