What Next For The XFL?

A marriage with the CFL is not coming.

The new owners of the XFL led by The Rock, the one-time college football player turned wrestler turned actor, Dwayne Johnson, have struck out in an attempt to do business with the Canadian Football League. The struggling CFL and the third incarnation of the XFL talked about having some sort of working agreement but have decided to go their separate ways although they could date again. The XFL was planning to start in 2022 but the kickoff date has been pushed back to 2023 which will be almost three years after the second XFL’s final play. Last October, the new XFL owners were contacting the people who ran the stadiums in the eight cities that had XFL franchises in 2020. The old XFL cities included St. Louis and the people who ran the city’s domed stadium listened to the XFL’s opening pitch. Johnson and his partners didn’t have to invest much in getting the league out of bankruptcy spending just $15 million. The 2020 version of the XFL and the 2019 Alliance of American Football did reasonably well out of the gate on TV when the leagues’ kicked off after the Super Bowl and then the ratings plummeted. As the weather got warmer, as other sports options multiplied on TV, the interest in the XFL and AAF dwindled.

Johnson and his partners are staring at a long history of football league failures including the XFL 2001, the XFL 2020. Spring leagues have not succeeded. The United States Football League lasted three years, the Spring Football League operated for a few games in 2000. The first attempt at spring football was the Trans-America Football League which operated for one season in 1971. The XFL will also face spring competition from a new United States Football League. But the new XFL investors are trying again.

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