With the XFL 2023 regular season ending in two weeks, the league’s fans are excited about spring football’s future. Alt-Football fans love to talk about expansion. It is almost a lock that in 2024, we will see the same eight XFL teams in the exact locations as we are in 2023. 2025 however, could be a different story.
Currently, teams like the Defenders, Vipers, and Guardians are already putting out notifications for season ticket packages for the 2024 season.
The league marketing had a late start to promote the 2023 XFL season. But that won’t be the case in 2024, as staffing is ready to go. That is why team-wise, the league will be status quo for 2024.
The main storyline for the 2024 season will be if the XFL can build on their numbers (TV Ratings, Attendance) in season two. If those metrics improve, we could see changes in 2025, including adding new teams.
Considering the market size, existing fan bases, and available facilities, this article will examine San Diego, San Jose, Charlotte, Nashville, and more as prime locations for XFL expansion. We will also look at locations the XFL should stay away from in 2025.
XFL Expansion Cities In 2025
San Diego, California
San Diego is another city that has been without an NFL team since the Chargers relocated to Los Angeles. With a population of over 1.4 million, San Diego offers a sizeable market for the XFL to tap into. SDCCU Stadium has been demolished years ago. San Diego State University’s Snapdragon stadium could be an excellent choice for an XFL team’s home field. Home to SDSU Football, NWSL Wave soccer and MLR San Diego Legion rugby.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City is a thriving sports market, with the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder being the city’s primary professional sports team. Introducing an XFL team to Oklahoma City would provide football fans with a new team to support and fill a gap in the city’s sports landscape. The city has a proven track record of supporting professional sports, and an existing venue like the Taft Stadium could be upgraded to accommodate an XFL team.
Portland is a growing city with a passionate sports culture. As the largest city in Oregon, it has the potential to support an XFL team. A new team could leverage the existing fan base of the Portland Timbers (MLS) and Portland Trail Blazers (NBA) to quickly establish a loyal following. Providence Park, currently home to the Timbers, could be adapted to accommodate an XFL team.
San Jose, California
San Jose, the third-largest city in California, boasts a population of over 1 million residents and a thriving sports culture. Home to the NHL’s San Jose Sharks and the MLS’s San Jose Earthquakes, the city has demonstrated a strong appetite for professional sports. Adding an XFL team to San Jose could tap into this established fan base and fill the football void left by the San Francisco 49ers’ relocation to Santa Clara. The Earthquakes’ Avaya Stadium, with a seating capacity of 18,000, could be expanded to accommodate an XFL team.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is a rapidly growing city with a strong passion for sports, making it an ideal location for an XFL expansion team. The city is already home to the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, providing a solid foundation for an XFL team to build upon. Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, which currently hosts the Panthers, could be a shared venue for an XFL team. An XFL team could further solidify Charlotte’s status as a major sports hub in the Southeast.
Nashville, known as “Music City,” is another prime location for an XFL expansion team. The city’s residents are passionate about sports, with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans and the NHL’s Nashville Predators enjoying strong support. By adding an XFL team to the mix, Nashville could further enhance its reputation as a sports destination. Nissan Stadium, the current home of the Titans, could serve as a shared venue for an XFL team. The city’s central location in the South also makes it easily accessible for fans throughout the region, adding to its appeal as an expansion city.
Cities the XFL Should Skip in 2025
While several cities across the United States have emerged as strong candidates for new teams, other locations like Toronto and Mexico City may not be the best fit for XFL expansion in 2025.
Market Competition: Toronto is a bustling metropolis with a population of nearly 3 million people. However, the city already has a strong sports presence, including the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, the MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays, and the MLS’s Toronto F.C. With these established teams vying for the attention of sports fans, an XFL expansion team could struggle to compete for market share and generate the support needed to be successful.
CFL Overlap: Another important consideration is the existing presence of the Canadian Football League (CFL). The Toronto Argonauts, a popular CFL team, play in the same city and have a dedicated fan base. Introducing an XFL team to Toronto could create direct competition between the two leagues, potentially alienating the CFL’s loyal supporters.
Time of year: The XFL season kicks off in February. The average temperature in Toronto in February typically ranges from -1°C to -7°C (30°F to 19°F). March is not much better, ranging from 3°C to -3°C (37°F to 27°F). Getting fans who are lukewarm to the XFL at best to come out to a game in the dead of winter is a tall task when you could put a team in a southern location in the U.S. and have a bigger draw.
Mexico City, Mexico
Logistical Challenges: While Mexico City boasts a large population of over 9 million residents and an enthusiastic sports culture, it also presents several logistical challenges for an XFL expansion team. The distance between Mexico City and most U.S. cities would increase travel time and expenses for teams, potentially affecting their performance on the field.
Additionally, Mexico City’s high altitude (over 7,300 feet above sea level) could pose difficulties for athletes who are not accustomed to competing at such elevations.
Language and Cultural Barriers: Introducing an XFL team to Mexico City would also require overcoming language and cultural barriers. Although many residents speak English, the primary language in Mexico is Spanish. This could create communication difficulties for players, coaches, and staff, as well as limit the potential fan base for the team.
Limited History of American Football: While American football does have a presence in Mexico, it has not reached the same level of popularity as soccer or other sports. The NFL has played a few regular-season games in Mexico City, but the sport has not yet established a significant foothold in the country. This could make it challenging for an XFL team to generate the level of fan support needed to thrive in the market.
By no means should the XFL never consider those markets. It is just looking at the 2025 season and the long-term success of the league. There are better options to start with in the U.S.
As the XFL seeks to expand its presence and attract new fans, cities like San Jose, Charlotte, and Nashville offer significant potential for new teams. These cities boast large markets, established fan bases, and existing or adaptable facilities that could accommodate professional football. By choosing these cities for expansion, the XFL can continue to strengthen its brand and solidify its position as a major force in the world of professional sports.
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