Vince McMahon Plans XFL Relaunch In 2020
The XFL was founded in 1999 and their first season was in 2001, which also happened to be its last. Brain child of WWE (At the time known as World Wrestling Federation) CEO Vince McMahon but a team effort in partnership with NBC. The idea was that the XFL would operate when the NFL was in its off season. Their niche was that the league was going to have less rules while at the same time promoted rougher play. Unlike other professional leagues, which operate using a franchise model – All of the teams in the XFL were owned by the XFL itself.
Vince being Vince, just had to try and inject Wrestling themed elements into the program. Overly sexualized wardrobes for the cheerleaders, appearances by WWF announcers like Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler. One of the most notable things the XFL did different than traditional football organizations was ditching the standard kickoff in favor of an “Opening Scramble” where a player from each team sprinted 20 yards to a ball on the field and fought for possession.
Things started out great for the league but ratings quickly tanked. People just couldn’t dissacoate the XFL from its cousin the WWF. The production value was also not as high as NFL and even some college football. Collectively the WWF and NBC invested $100 million in the XFL and only recouped 65% (a loss of $35 million). NBC originally agreed to broadcast the first two seasons but after the drop in ratings decided to pull out. Its was only a short time before everything came to an end. To this day even the mention of the XFL induces a certain level of cringe.
The XFL went the way of the Dodo as did a few of McMahon’s other ventures. Like in the early 80’s when he bought the Cape Cod Coliseum and formed The Cape Cod Buccaneers. Or what about that time in the 90’s he tried to fuse the world of competitive body building with the Soap Opera style storytelling found in the world of Sports Entertainment and called it The WBF or World Bodybuilding Federation. It ran from 1990 to 1992, shortly after it closed its doors Vince was indicted for distributing steroids to wrestlers.
Back in December news that McMahon had sold $100 million in WWE stock (3,340,000 shares) in order to fund a new company with the goal of “Exploring investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football.” On the 25th of January 2018 vince announced the XFL would be making a return in 2020 owned in partnership with Alpha Entertainment inc.
There’s no news yet about the names of the teams or where they will be located but it’s clear that the relaunch will see the league structured the way it was back in 2001: 8 teams, 40 player rosters, a ten game season and a postseason with two semi finals and a championship game.
In the press conference Vince says “We’re going to give the game of football back to its fans.” He goes on to ask if fans want halftime to be eliminated, less commercials, Faster paced gameplay, simplified rules. He goes on to make the biggest announcement of the press conference. “The quality of the human being is going to be as important as the quality of the payer.” This no doubt some kind of morality claws that will be part of the players contracts.
McMahon wants to capitalise on the popularity of streaming when talking about Broadcasting deals promising a customized viewing experience on both big and small screens. In 2017 ESPN produced a documentary about the league for its series 30 for 30. During the documentary its revealed by Vince that they rushed the league and as a result the game suffered. In the relaunch press conference vince points out that 2020 is two years away which is enough time to “Get it right”
That’s all we’ve got for now but you can be sure we’ll keep you posted as the story develops.