The XFL, a new professional football league backed by WWE CEO Vince McMahon, on Wednesday unveiled the inaugural eight cities and stadiums that will host its teams when play begins in 2020.
XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck said the league will focus on maintaining a fast-paced, safer on-field product with fewer game stoppages and penalties. Ticket prices will be “significantly lower” than other U.S. professional sports leagues, he added. The league will begin play on Feb. 8, 2020, the weekend after that year’s Super Bowl.
The eight XFL teams will be based in New York, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Washington, D.C. Games will take place at the following venues: MetLife Stadium in New Jersey; Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas; TDECU Stadium in Houston; StubHub Center in Carson, California; The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis; CenturyLink Field in Seattle; Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay; and Audi Field in Washington.
“We believe launching in February 2020 gives us the time to get the game, the fan experience and the partnerships right, and we believe we are well on our way,” Luck said.
Luck said the games will feature a shorter play clock compared to the NFL and conclude in less than three hours. Rules will be simplified and broadcasts will air fewer commercials. The XFL is currently testing out elements of its format with junior college football teams to solidify a final on-field product.
All eight XFL teams will have the same roster budget. Player salaries will be “very competitive,” and rosters will be drawn from all available players, including those who have been cut from NFL teams, Luck said.
The XFL will play its games during the NFL’s offseason and will “complement,” not directly compete with the NFL, he added. The league will fully implement gambling in all states where it is legal. Players will be tested for performance-enhancing drugs.
Luck said the XFL will air on multiple platforms, with details on media partners to come in the near future.
McMahon sold WWE shares worth $100 million to bankroll the XFL’s relaunch. The original XFL, which formed as a joint partnership between WWE and NBC, folded in 2001 after just one season.