8 markets we believe could host an XFL team
THE BIG MARKETS
Chicago, New York, Dallas, Houston
REASONS: Big markets still matter, and it is unlikely that Vince McMahon will launch a league without having teams in these metropolitan areas. The XFL will be shopping for a TV deal by 2020, which would mandate that it covers these markets, which represent four of the country’s top-six media markets. Each of these markets also have multiple venue options. Chicago and New York, which had XFL franchises in 2001, are the center of the advertising community, which makes them attractive to McMahon. It’s unthinkable that McMahon will stay out of the football-mad Texas market this time, especially considering McMahon’s close relationship with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. It would not be surprising to see McMahon put two teams in the state. Why not L.A.? Well, L.A. hosted an XFL team in 2001, when it didn’t have an NFL team. Now it has two, and if the XFL lands in San Diego, it will have Southern California covered.
THE FORMER NFL MARKETS
San Diego, St. Louis, Oakland
REASONS: When it comes to the cities where the XFL is likely, look first at jilted NFL markets that would be hungry to adopt a new team. These three cities have supported NFL teams for decades and could be prime to shift their allegiances to the XFL.
THE FORMER XFL MARKETS
REASONS: Orlando is the United States’ biggest TV market that does not have an NFL team. In 2001, the Orlando Rage had the third-highest attendance figure in the XFL (an average of 25,563 per game), trailing only San Francisco and New York/New Jersey. The XFL considered Las Vegas a good market in 2001, but it will have an NFL team by the time the XFL launches. Memphis and Birmingham, Ala. posted two of the three lowest attendance figures back in 2001 and seem unlikely to get a second shot.
— John Ourand