Everything You Need to Know About the XFL

Everything You Need to Know About the XFL

The XFL kicks off one week from today, and there’s a lot of new fans interested in the product. We are here to help. Join us as we go through everything you need to know about the new XFL.

A Quick History

Way back on January 25th, 2018 Vince McMahon officially announced that the XFL would be returning in 2020. At the time, we didn’t know the locations, coaches or many details at all. It wasn’t until later that year in June when Oliver Luck was named as CEO and Commissioner of the upcoming league. This instantly brought legitimacy to the league. Vince McMahon seemed to have learned from the mistakes of his past by bringing in Luck to run operations his way.

With Luck in charge, things started to take shape bringing us to where we are today. Below we’ll outline the locations, team names, coaches, rules, broadcast partners and more. Things would be a lot different without the leadership of Luck. He has prior football experience as a QB in the NFL and running operations for NFL Europe, as well as building the Houston Dynamo (MLS) from the ground up.

Locations and Team Identities

DC Defenders

On the shoulders of giants, they stand tall. Unconquerable. Unyielding. Marching ever forward, A force united. One quest. One purpose. One resolve. Seeking glory through grit. Victory through valor. The DC Defenders. Taking their stand.

Dallas Renegades

Deep in the heart of Texas… …beats a different kind of pulse. A spirit untamed. A swagger that can’t be denied. Where big meets bold meets badass. This is outlaw country, inside the lines. This is hell on wheels, between hash marks. This is their home on the range. The Dallas Renegades. Raising hell.

Houston Roughnecks

Resolute. Rippling with heat. Railing against fatigue. Unceasing and often unseen, they labor deep in the trenches. Mercenaries in the muck. Brawlers in blackened dirt. Not just for three hours. Not just when the lights are bright. These are the scratching, grinding, never-bending few. The Houston Roughnecks. Going to work for you.

Los Angeles Wildcats

In the land of bright lights. Far from the flash and fame. They’ve already begun to prowl. Enter their den and be dominated. Run away and be ripped apart. This is prime time meets primal instinct. This is showtime with a snarl. This is our time to roar. The L.A. Wildcats. Unleashed.

New York Guardians

Sentries carved of stone. Watchdogs over the metropolis. A prehistoric predator. A beast evolves, turned loose in a new kind of jungle. All teeth and talons, eyes unblinking. They know fear, because they feed off it. They are your first line of defense, and there is no need for a second. The New York Guardians. On duty.

St. Louis BattleHawks

Winged warriors. Preparing for flight. Preparing to fight. They await their orders. Then attack as one. Diving, dodging, swooping, striking. Their mission: create chaos. Their mandate: Win at all costs. The St. Louis BattleHawks. Cleared to engage.

Seattle Dragons

Rising from the turbulent sea. Beneath the darkening skies of their weather-hardened home. Relentless, ruthless, ravenous. Not of mythology, but of muscle and might. Not of folklore, but of football. This is your darkest fantasy…in cleats. The Seattle Dragons. Breathing fire.

Tampa Bay Vipers

In the shadows they wait. Demons, born in darkness. Hunters by instinct. Cold-blooded by nature. Their bite, unavoidable. Their grip, inescapable. They slither and stalk their competition. Luring all who challenge them… …into the jaws of defeat. The Tampa Bay Vipers. Ready to strike.

Team 9

The XFL has established “Team 9” for the benefit of the rest of the eight-team league … and for 40 players still chasing their football dreams.

Team 9 is essentially an extra squad stocked with players available to fill open roster spots on any team in the league at any time. Say the St. Louis BattleHawks lose a safety in Week 2, they can “call up” a football-ready replacement in time to face the New York Guardians in Week 3.

Stadiums

DC – Audi Field

Audi Field - DC DefendersLocated right in the heart of Washington DC and within view of the Capitol and other DC landmarks. It’s also home stadium for the DC United of MLS. It is the newest facility of the eight XFL sites, opening in 2018 and holding 20,000 people. This place also has a rooftop patio for event goers, along with a 10,000 sq. ft. indoor lounge and Fan Plaza. This is the smallest XFL facility, but might be one of the most fun if sold out and cheering a good game.

Dallas – Globe Life Park

Globe Life Park - Dallas RenegadesGlobe Life was recently renovated from a baseball field (Texas Rangers) to a football stadium, and is in Arlington, TX just a few miles west of downtown Dallas. The Rangers opened the park in 1994 and coincidentally, this was the Texas Rangers last season at Globe Life Park before they move to Glove Life Field next door. There had been many talks on what to do with the facility and then the XFL came knocking. There has been renovations to the parks lower sections to retrofit the field from baseball to football. The seating currently holds 48,000 but will be lowered some with the renovations. Arlington also has a large nightlife section called Texas Live, which is basically right next door to Globe Life Park that caters to game-day fans.

Houston – TDECU Stadium

TDECU Stadium - Houston RoughnecksAnother, relatively new stadium, this is the home field of the University of Houston Cougars football team. It opened in 2014 and has won several architectural awards in the short time it has been operating. It currently holds 40,000 people with plans to expand to 60,000. The upper area of the stadium called Cougar Cage, has a unique look with corrugated metal exterior that is powder coated Houston Cougar red. And it is said to give optimal airflow and natural lighting for fans. And like Seattle, the architecture also left open a spot in the stands for a view of the Houston skyline.

Los Angeles – Dignity Health Sports Park

Dignity Health Sports Park - Los Angeles WildcatsThis facility is on the California State University campus a bit south of Los Angeles, its main tenant is the LA Galaxy (MLS). It was opened in 2003 and holds 27,000 spectators. It was first designed with soccer in mind and it is the largest soccer specific stadium in the U.S. However, with the XFL coming to town hopefully the league can be big enough to make them have to alter that fact someday. This is part of a larger sports complex that also includes tennis, track and field and a Sports Center for various activities , which will include some events in the 2028 Olympics. The stadium was upgraded in 2017 to make it better for the temporary placement of the NFL’s Chargers. So, the XFL should be able to slide right in.

New York – MetLife Stadium

MetLife Stadium - New York GuardiansOpened in 2010, this is one of the newer NFL stadiums and when built was the most expensive stadium in history. It is just outside of downtown New York and home to the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets. It has the largest capacity of all XFL sites at 82,500 people. This stadium has also hosted an NFL Super Bowl. A unique fact of this stadium is the front row 50-yard line seats are only 46 feet away from the sideline, which is the shortest distance of all NFL stadiums.

St. Louis – The Dome

The Dome - St. Louis BattleHawksOpened in 1995 and holding over 67,000 people, it was originally home to the St Louis Rams until they left in 2015. Like other older stadiums on this list, it was renovated in the last few years. There is a lot to be said for being the main tenant of a stadium. More prominent marketing and such can come into play. And it is just good feeling being the top dog. This stadium is also in downtown St. Louis and right next door to a casino for after game fun, especially when St. Louis has the late Saturday game. And isn’t that one of the main goals of the XFL, being a fun fan experience all the way around. A lot of people might make a quick flight to see a game and a night at the casino since it is within walking distance.

Seattle – CenturyLink Stadium

CenturyLink Stadium - Seattle DragonsCenturyLink is very close to downtown Seattle and home to the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders of the MLS. The stadium has some unique architecture that is designed to amplify sound. It only holds 69,000 people, has an open roof and yet at one time it was the loudest stadium ever recorded​ by Guinness World Records. Additionally, they kept the north end partially open in order to pull in the view of the Seattle skyline. The design also gives it a unique look and feel, that seems more intimate even holding near 70,000 people and being open roof. MLS has done well in this stadium and might mean there is a pretty good market for non-NFL franchises. It was opened in 2002.

Tampa Bay – Raymond James Stadium

Raymond James Stadium - Tampa Bay VipersRaymond James Stadium has had two NFL Super Bowls and is home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It opened in 1998, which was right before the modern big stadium boom we saw in the past ten or fifteen years. So, it may not have the modern style and architecture of say AT&T Stadium or MetLife Stadium, but it did undergo extensive renovations completed in 2018. And it does have some neat, unique features that set it apart. One is the 103-foot replica pirate ship in one end. And at the other end they have added a beach section complete with sand chairs and tiki huts for pregame festivities. The Stadium seats 65,000 and is expandable to 75,000.

Head Coaches

DC Defenders

Pep Hamilton has not been a head coach at any level, spending most of his career as a quarterbacks coach, wide receivers coach and offensive coordinator. At Michigan, he held three titles, serving as the passing game coordinator, quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach.

Hamilton has had multiple stops in his coaching career, both in college and in the NFL. Before landing at Michigan in 2017, he was the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach with the Cleveland Browns. Prior to that, he was the offensive coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts from 2013-15.

Dallas Renegades

Bob Stoops is the winningest head coach in college football history and the only coach to win the National Championship and every BCS bowl game. He coached the University of Oklahoma from 1999 until he announced his retirement June 7, 2017. During the 2000 season, Stoops led the Sooners to an Orange Bowl victory and a national championship. He had a 190-48 record in 18 seasons as the Sooners’ head coach, including 10 Big 12 titles.

Prior to coaching at Oklahoma, Stoops held various coordinator and position-coach positions at Iowa, Kansas State and Florida. Stoops was awarded the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award in 2000 and the Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award in 2000 and 2003. Stoops has been nicknamed “Big Game Bob” by both supporters and detractors.

Houston Roughnecks

June Jones was known early in his career as an offensive innovator who specialized in the run and shoot offense. Jones is no stranger to Houston, where he coached for both the Gamblers (USFL) as a WR coach and the Oilers (NFL) as the QB coach. His offensive strategy helped develop future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Warren Moon in his two stints as assistant.

Jones’ has also coached for the Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons and most recently The Hamilton Tiger-Cats (CFL), where he was Head Coach for the 2017-18 season and demoted to Offensive Coordinator.

Los Angeles Wildcats

Winston Moss was formerly the assistant head coach and linebackers coach for the Green Bay Packers of the NFL. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second round of the 1987 NFL Draft. Moss attended Miami Southridge High School and was an all-state linebacker. He played college football at Miami and professionally for the Los Angeles Raiders and Seattle Seahawks.

New York Guardians

Kevin Gilbride was a coach for twenty years in the NFL and is a longtime friend of Tom Coughlin since his days as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He spent seven years as the offensive coordinator for the New York Giants, with whom he earned two Super Bowl rings. From 1997–1998, Gilbride was the head coach for the San Diego Chargers.

St. Louis BattleHawks

Jon Hayes played college football for Iowa from 1982-1984, and was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1985 NFL Draft. He played for the Kansas City Chiefs (1985–1993) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (1994–1996).

Hayes’s coaching career began at Oklahoma under Bob Stoops. While coaching in Norman, the 2000 Oklahoma Sooners football team won the BCS National Championship Game. At Oklahoma, Hayes coached Trent Smith, who was named to the 2001 and 2002 All-Big 12 Conference football team. He joined Marvin Lewis’s Cincinnati Bengals staff and won 4 AFC North titles on the way to 7 NFL playoff berths. Hayes also coached several Pro Bowl players; Tyler Eifert (2015) and Jermaine Gresham (2011, 2012).

Seattle Dragons

Jim Zorn is a former player and coach in the National Football League. He was a left-handed quarterback, and is best known as the starting quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks for their first eight seasons. He was the quarterbacks coach for the Seattle Seahawks from 2001 until the 2007 season, before being hired by the Washington Redskins to be their head coach starting in the 2008 season.

Tampa Bay Vipers

Marc Trestmen was head coach of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL), and served as the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL and Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL).

He led the Alouettes to two consecutive Grey Cup championships and was named CFL Coach of the Year in 2009. He played college football as a quarterback for three seasons with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, and one season at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Team 9

Bart Andrus is coaching Team 9. In a career spanning four decades, Andrus has coached in the NFL, CFL, NFL Europe, college and other spring leagues. He was an NFL offensive assistant in Tennessee and St. Louis, won an NFL Europe championship as head coach of Amsterdam in 2005 and was a CFL head coach with Toronto.

Andrus worked in NFL Europe with Luck, who served as commissioner from 1996-2000. That’s where the concept of an extra practice team was born.

XFL Rules

The XFL officially revealed their rule book on January 7th with some videos detailing their 5 gameplay innovations. You can take a look at the full rule set over at XFL.com.

Kickoff

Point-After Touchdown

Punt

Double-Forward Pass

Overtime

Broadcast Partners

The XFL announced multi-year agreements with ESPN and FOX Sports to televise XFL games starting with its inaugural 2020 season. XFL games will air weekly on broadcast TV (ABC and FOX) complemented by games on cable (ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 and FS2). The XFL TV schedule allows for consistent appointment viewing each week with back-to-back games starting Saturday afternoons at 2 pm ET as well as two additional games on Sunday afternoons.

Fantasy Football

As of now there is limited options when it comes to the XFL and fantasy football. Officially, we have DraftKings and AltFantasySports. That being said, in an interview earlier this week Oliver Luck said that there will be an announcement early next week in regards to fantasy football and betting. At the time of publication if this announcement will be a partnership or a home-grown product possibly part of the upcoming XFL app.

Kickoff

As we mentioned above, the XFL officially kicks off February 8th and 9th with two games on each day. The first game in XFL history is set to take place at Audi Field with the DC Defenders taking on the Seattle Dragons. The game starts at 2pm EST and airs on ABC.

The second game of the first day has the Los Angeles Wildcats traveling to Houston to take on the Roughnecks. Fox will be live from TDECU Stadium to bring you all the action starting at 5pm EST.

Starting out the second day of action is the Tampa Bay Vipers taking on the New York Guardians at MetLife Park. The game kicks off at 2pm EST and will be shown on FOX.

Capping off the first weekend is the St. Louis BattleHawks battling the Dallas Renegades in the newly renovated Globe Life Park. ESPN will be covering the game starting at 5pm EST.

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