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Volume 26 No. 92
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XFL Announces Eight Home Markets For Planned '20 Launch

The nascent XFL confirmed today that it will launch in the spring of '20 in eight markets -- seven NFL cities and a former NFL city in St. Louis. This is a contrast with the rival Alliance of American Football, which will see two of its eight teams in NFL markets when it begins play in February.

Globe Life Park
Audi Field
TDECU Stadium
StubHub Center
MetLife Stadium
St. Louis
The Dome at America's Center
CenturyLink Field
Raymond James Stadium
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XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck said, “If you think about it, there are more passionate, diehard fans in these major markets. In most cases they are passionate, diehard fans of the National Football League franchises. It seemed like it made the most sense to be in these major markets.” The XFL, which hosted a press conference at MetLife Stadium at 12:00pm ET today to announce the home markets, hired McKinsey to conduct the market research. The XFL is largely shying away from northern NFL markets like Boston and Chicago because of winter weather issues. N.Y. is the exception among the eight markets. The leases with the venues are typically three years, Luck said, and give the XFL the rights to field-level signage. The brainchild of WWE Founder & CEO Vince McMahon, the XFL in the spring sent requests for proposals to about 30 cities. Luck said the league whittled that down to about 20 serious ones. “The enthusiasm for this at the spring time of year was remarkable,” he said. “Certainly, the markets we chose, they were just willing to embrace us with open arms, and were extraordinarily helpful in locating practice facilities, that type of thing.” 

PASSING ON OAKLAND FOR NOW: One market the XFL was interested in was Oakland, but Luck said the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority cited the uncertainty of where the A’s would play. The A’s are currently deciding between staying at the Oakland Coliseum or building a new ballpark in downtown Oakland. The third NFL market that recently lost or is losing an NFL team, San Diego, was not a contender for a franchise, Luck said. San Diego is an AAF market too. The XFL may scale some of the NFL stadiums so areas are tarped, recognizing sellouts are unlikely. “We realize we got a lot of seats to sell, but we think we can get to work and offer great football and give folks ... in every one of our markets a great product,” Luck said. The AAF’s two NFL markets are Atlanta and Phoenix. The other AAF markets are Birmingham, Memphis, Orlando, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Diego. The concept of going to smaller markets is to bring the sport to locales that don’t have the NFL and might hunger for it. Also, clearly smaller markets keep costs lower. The AAF has not said how much it is spending, while McMahon has said he would commit close to half a billion dollars.