Daryl Johnston, the Executive Vice President of Football Operations, was a guest on The Blitz on ESPNSA with Jason Minnix. The Blitz is based in Texas, so the first question was why there was no USFL team in San Antonio.
“Yes, not in the original rollout. The San Antonio Gunslingers are one of the teams from the USFL. We’re hoping to have success this time and push this into season two, season three. And hopefully, as that starts to happen, we can bring back some of the other franchises that were part of the USFL and San Antonio because of the response we had with the AAF Commanders.”
The XFL did have talks with the City of San Antonio before the league officially closed its doors, so don’t rule out a possible move by the Roughnecks or Renegades to the city. Johnston agrees that San Antonio is a good football town.
“The fans of San Antonio have earned the right to have a team there and not just a spring League team. I really feel that they’ve earned the right to have an NFL team in that city.”
Johnston has pull in the new USFL 2.0, and he will surely use it if the league expands.
“So you’ve got a huge supporter and a huge fan of the San Antonio sports community that’s in a decision making area for the USFL.”
The question for both the USFL and XFL is the importance of getting past that first season. The AAF closed shop due to lack of funding. The XFL closed its doors due to the pandemic. This go-round, it is imperative that if the USFL can make it to year two, a big hurdle for the league’s overall health is achieved.
“I thought that people would be hesitant to be a part of the USFL just because of the failures of the other two leagues. But I think that they recognize that if it weren’t for some very strange circumstances, some self-inflicted, some outside of our control getting to year two, I think really proves that there’s an opportunity for this to work.
I think the way we have everything structured so far this time… going to one host city and minimizing the expenses coming out there in year one and really concentrating and focusing on the product… the quality of football and the quality of the football players in our league… the distribution of the product to the fans around the country.
We’re going to really be hyper-focused on those important areas and try to grow the support for the USFL. Then once we leave that whole city and the teams go back to their homes. That will give them a year to kind of build the excitement for those teams to arrive in the host cities.”
The USFL will hit the field Friday, April 15th, 2022. Stay tuned to XFL News Hub for all your USFL news.
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