The first XFL location, which emerged this week, will be neither an NFL nor an AFL city. The next seven will all be cities in which the NFL currently plays.
According to a post on the Wrestle Zone blog, the XFL inadvertently posted a list of all eight teams. The link provided to the XFL page currently contains no such information; instead, there’s a video announcing that an announcement is coming on December 5.
Per the report, the cities (in addition to St. Louis) are Dallas, Houston, L.A., New York, Seattle, Tampa, and Washington.
It’s a bold move by a bold man who resurrected the XFL, dropping teams directly into seven cities currently served by more than 25 percent of the NFL’s current teams. And it will require a fan base that already is largely loyal to one NFL team (or, in the case of L.A., all 32 of them) to embrace a minor-league team that plays in non-football season.
The wild-card here will be the legalization of gambling. Which makes Tampa a somewhat surprising choice, given the results of a ballot initiative that will make it much harder to have legalized wagering in Florida. Although people obviously will be able bet on Tampa games in states where wagering is legal, any live, in-game, in-stadium betting won’t happen in Tampa unless and until Florida legalizes wagering.
Regardless, the XFL will return in 2020, 19 years after its initial one-year experiment. And it won’t be competing with the AAF, at least not on the local level.