The re-resurrected XFL will move forward under the management of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, his ex-wife and current business manager Dany Garcia, and RedBird Capital.
Garcia spoke to Daniel Kaplan of TheAthletic.com regarding the vision for XFL 3.0, if/when the bankruptcy court approves the transaction.
For starters, Garcia suggested that the XFL will have eight teams (and maybe in time more than that) — but that the locations of the teams will be reconsidered.
“[W]e love eight teams,” Garcia said. “We love eventually having more than eight teams. I think we’ll be reviewing some of the markets as we should. There was a lot of great work that was done and was succeeding. But I think whenever you have time to reset, I think it’s a really, really important time to just reassess.”
She’s right. Seattle and St. Louis were doing extremely well. Some of the other markets weren’t. The manner in which St. Louis embraced an XFL team following the departure of the NFL’s Rams suggests that other former NFL cities — like San Diego and Oakland — should be considered for franchises that would be relocated from markets that didn’t embrace their teams.
The plan is to continue to play in the spring, but to make it something that generates interest beyond that playing window.
“Our approach to the XFL is looking at it as a property that lives year-round with the live portion happening in the spring. The rest of the year and even during the season where we have, obviously, the games going on, as we move through that there’s so much more content and storytelling that needs to happen and should happen, so that there is relevance,” Garcia said. “And the players mean something to our fans and our audience.”
Given the pandemic, Garcia didn’t commit to the XFL returning in 2021. She seemed to hint at the possibility of a one-city bubble, if games are played next spring.
If games aren’t played next spring, then the following spring becomes the focus. However it plays out, it’s a long-term project that eventually will become part of the effort to give fans live sporting events to watch and, as legalized sports wagering continues to spread throughout the country, more things on which to bet.