XFL relaunch: Spring soccer league expands to Las Vegas, Orlando, San Antonio - NPR

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Dwanye "The Rock" Johnson speaks to those collaborating in the XFL exhibit at Choctaw Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday. XFL hide caption

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Dwanye "The Rock" Johnson speaks to those collaborating in the XFL show off at Choctaw Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday.


The XFL is a little greater than six months faraway from the start of its season, and because the league attempts its third are trying, it's increasing to 3 new cities and making Arlington, Texas, its headquarters for the 2023 season.

Las Vegas, San Antonio and Orlando, Fla., are all new groups to the league this yr. Houston, Seattle, St. Louis, Washington, and Arlington all had teams all through the primary reboot of the league in 2020.

The locations of the groups and which of the up to now introduced coaches could be tied to every of them were announced on Sunday through the league's house owners, actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, his longtime company associate Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital partners.

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"What brings a league to life is the passion of the fandom in the back of it," Garcia pointed out in a press release. "In each of those cities we can co-create with our lovers and build these groups from the ground up in order that they signify the enjoyable material of our communities."

Johnson stated he become "proud" to announce the vicinity of the headquarters on Monday.

"This football-prosperous community is the best area for us to instill the XFL tradition & DNA into our players," Johnson noted on Twitter. "Now the enjoyable half - we go to work."

because the league continues to prepare for its scheduled kickoff on Feb. 18, 2023, here's a glance again at the history of the league and what might possibly be distinct this time around.

When did the XFL start?

The XFL acquired its start in 2001 as a partnership between Vince McMahon, then the chairman and CEO of World Wrestling entertainment, and Dick Ebersol, who become the chairman of NBC sports. loads of issues ended in the downfall of the league that yr, however probably most chiefly, the soccer become just not basically worth staring at.

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The league had extraordinary variations from the NFL. guidelines adjustments resulted in a greater violent and dangerous online game. The center of attention on the intercourse appeal of cheerleaders was delivered to the forefront of the groups. players were encouraged to position their nicknames on jerseys.

McMahon introduced his signature aptitude and helped sell the league, but players and coaches had les than two months to prepare and practice, and all of the fanfare looked overhyped when teams in reality took the box.

although there become excessive activity at first of the season, it failed to final, and when the season ended that April it marked the conclusion of the league — or so it had appeared on the time.

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The 2020 reboot of the XFL made it via half the season earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic compelled the video games to a halt. Richard Rodriguez/Getty photos cover caption

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The 2020 reboot of the XFL made it via half the season earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic compelled the video games to a halt.

Richard Rodriguez/Getty photos The league got a reboot in 2020 — and then the pandemic hit

nearly two a long time later, McMahon introduced the league's return — slated for 2020. The method seemed to have developed, with lots of the WWE strategies have been left behind. in its place, this new iteration of the XFL concentrated extra on the video game and player security, with rule alterations that have been supposed to diminish the opportunity of damage.

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"The video game has in fact been accelerated, and because of this, the gamers that are available to us — variety of the 500 choicest players in the nation not under contract to a further skilled football league — these guys are good," former XFL commissioner Oliver luck advised NPR in 2020. "Now, however, we realize it's a problem, and we're going into this eyes wide open. but we think we have bought a fine looking decent shot at establishing a league that people need to watch."

the ten-game season appeared neatly on its technique to fitting the category of league luck observed, but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. activities leagues stopped their seasons abruptly, and while most came again months later in bubble environments, the XFL become not one in every of them. The league laid off almost all its employees and at once filed for Chapter eleven bankruptcy.

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"The XFL directly captured the hearts and imaginations of thousands and thousands of americans who love football," the league said in a statement announcing its conclusion. "regrettably, as a brand new commercial enterprise, we had been no longer insulated from the cruel financial influences and uncertainties led to by way of the COVID-19 crisis."

Johnson, Garcia and RedBird Capital partners bought the league for $15 million later that yr.

XFL 2023 is on its means however we nevertheless have no idea all the particulars

notwithstanding the cities and head coaches were introduced for the 2023 season — the coaches are a mix of former NFL and faculty head coaches and retired NFL stars — the team names and mascots haven't. Rosters also have no longer been released, even though the league just finished its ultimate potential player show off on Sunday in Arlington.

video game dates and instances haven't been released , however the XFL already is selling ticket deposits beginning at $50. And for the fans who plan on looking at from home, the league announced a broadcast take care of The Walt Disney business and ESPN in might also. The deal goes through 2027, signaling that this new release of the XFL generation is supposed to closing multiple season.

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