Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has recently confirmed that the XFL will return in 2023 after much curiosity from fans.
Dwayne Johnson jointly owns the league with Dany Garcia and RedBird through a $15m purchase of the entity just after it filed for bankruptcy in 2020. Johnson has assured fans that the new XFL will be bigger, better and more entertaining, which is why the current partners are taking a long time to re-launch the league.
Comeback of original teams
Part of the reorganization efforts includes partnerships with other leagues and brands. These are still underway so they cannot yet be confirmed. The original teams are expected to return to the league, these include the Tampa Bay Vipers, St. Louis Battlehawks, Los Angeles Wildcats, Dallas Renegades, New York Guardians, Houston Rednecks, Seattle Dragons and the D.C. Defenders.
The XFL first debuted in 2001 when Vince McMahon, the famous WWE CEO, decided to create an alternate football league to the NFL. However, inadequate planning and management saw the first version fail after less than a year. The league was then revived in 2019/2020 after McMahon invested $100m in capital through a new venture, Alpha Entertainment, to fund the league’s revival.
The revival was motivated by the NFL’s falling ratings, fueled by numerous scandals. The most crushing scandal of that time was varied opinions towards what is appropriate behavior regarding the flag. As a league smaller than the NFL, the XFL has a greater ability to innovate, change and adjust quickly based on fans’ needs while providing engaging entertainment.
Today, the NFL supports many different areas and also has its own foundation. The foundation provides a large number of charitable grants to current players and NFL legends in addition to encouraging new players and helping recently retired coaches. A great portion of the NFL’s other activities are also generally associated with sports betting. Thanks to the active support of viewers and the development of teams, betting apps for NFL are gaining momentum and becoming increasingly popular. At the same time, the new teams that will join the XFL will undoubtedly become just as popular and in demand.
The XFL has various advantages, including the use of the latest technologies and innovations such as the XFL-pioneered SkyCam. New content distribution technologies allow the XFL to grant access over streaming services online and also conventional TV, reaching a wider audience at almost no additional cost. The league was created as a simpler version of the NFL, with fewer rules and faster gameplay to provide more entertainment, player safety optimization and, most importantly, the prioritization of entertainment over politics.
This league appeals to a lot of people as it offers more unhinged entertainment tailored to fans’ preferences, without any of the ongoing political frustrations. Furthermore, the XFL aims to offer aspiring NFL players a chance to play professional football before they get drafted by the NFL. This includes college or high school players who may not get a chance due to the limited NFL spaces available. These XFL players could be potential drafts for the NFL at a later stage in their careers. Additionally, the XFL is open to retired NFL players looking to get back into action in a more libertarian way.
Strictly about football
The XFL has also touted the possibility of including cheerleaders, which would give aspiring and retired cheerleaders who may not make it to the NFL a chance. Even better, the presence of a thriving XFL could force the NFL to straighten up its act and offer better entertainment to fans.
After all, competition is the icing on the cake in capitalism. Average salaries in the former XFL league were $55,000, which is about enough to sustain a professional career. Innovations in the XFL would likely spill over to other sports, creating an opportunity for improvement. Unlike the NFL, which becomes embroiled in social issues, the XFL is strictly about football and entertainment.
Johnson and his partners will need to navigate issues of player safety, viewership, distribution and public reception while competing with the more refined, wealthy and dominant league of the NFL. The XFL would be the perfect place to absorb players rejected by the NFL for political issues, which may help reduce the influence of politics on sports.
Additionally, more people should show support for the re-emergence of the XFL league in its efforts to redefine sports entertainment, especially in America’s most dominant sport. This may give entrepreneurs the confidence to innovate more in the entertainment sector. While the NFL is consumed by endless scandals, we can only hope that the XFL comes to our rescue sooner. Although there are still many questions about the league’s 2023 plans, the XFL no doubt has a bright future ahead.
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