Will the XFL Return? Here's What We Know So Far

What Differences Can We Expect When The XFL Returns?

With the sale of the XFL final and new owners officially taking over on August 21, 2021 fans are already out and speculating about how the new ownership team of Dany Garcia, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital Partners will change the league. I will like to mention what I believe we will see that is the same and what differences will be different.

Similarities

Team Names and Logos – I believe these will remain the same. Any team that is moved, will likely be in state and will not impact names and color schemes. One of the advantages of buying a league and not forming their own is that they inherit these items and their trade marks. Sure they may make some small changes with new uniform providers, but do not expect anything drastic.

Game Play – One of the things the new owners liked was how the XFL game was played and how the ratings were good and attendance was generally stable, even with Covid clearly scaring some people away. Do not expect to see any major rule changes.

Type of Players – If you think there will be a massive difference in how or who they will be putting on their teams, just forget it. The league will remain stable with the players mostly being from the same pool of guys they had before. Hopefully, they can attract more upperclassmen from colleges who want more exposure to improve draft status, but do not expect much to change.

Differences

Uniform and Apparel – Garcia and Johnson already work with and have products sold through athletic apparel provider Under Armour. I would expect them to use them or similar bigger name providers which would bring a higher quality and bigger name to the table on their items and with it probably more marketable items than the small amount of items McMahon’s led league put to market.

Fanbase – There will be changes in the fanbase itself. With Minority led ownership and one who already clearly tweeted support for more of a left candidate for president, we will likely see more acceptance of social protests. I expect to see the groups that came here due to what they saw as a right wing bent and hated the NFL for their views vanish. As the league will likely be more sensitive to the same social views of the NFL. This should remove the extreme fans who were here only due to political considerations.  Clearly, The Rock also attracts more people and many people put off by McMahon’s stigma will also likely come to give the league a shot.

The Media – Garcia and Johnson work with FOX on some projects and Johnson has done well with NBC on The Titan Games. Disney appeared less interested without McMahon, but clearly Fox remains interested and NBC will likely also be very interested seeing how Johnson’s program gave them 12 straight number 1 weeks in their time slot.  While people still like to bring up Netflix or Amazon, football is a party and bar sport and major network coverage is needed to bring in the amount of fans needed and to maintain the culture a football fan wants.  I expect to see Fox or a combination of FOX and NBC running the media coverage. It is also imperative to get the league into local media as well and working on spots on local sports talk radio is a must to keep fans interested and engaged during the week and Garcia already stated she wants to see the league being more regularly engaged with the fans and the public.

 

Will there be more differences? Possibly. But i would not expect to see any other major differences with most being how they engage the fans. It is important to note that if they were to change the entire league, it would have made no sense for them to buy it and inherit some of the debt if they wanted to do something entirely different.  What will we get?  We will get a league that is still pro football that brings more of the sport we love to our TV.  For most fans, we can at least be happy the XFL is alive.