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What Does the Future Hold for the XFL? The View From 2021

Vince McMahon, the owner of WWE, made a reboot of the 2001 XFL in 2018. He got the ball rolling in 2020 before the pandemic struck and ended proceedings. It all came to a head when he filed for bankruptcy in April 2020.

With the association seemingly headed the way of the Dodo, salvation arrived a few hours before the auction began. Former wrestler and defensive tackle, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, rocked into town with a consortium and bought the franchise.

Despite all the pomp and color of a glamorous celebrity owner, little is heard about the league. This article examines what the future holds for the XFL after gathering all the current news in 2021.

When does the new season start?

When all the drama of the last-minute purchase died down, management announced it would commence operations in 2022.

With the USFL breathing down their neck after announcing they will commence operations in 2022, they had to do something. That’s why during an interview and Instagram post in June, co-owner Danny Garcia hinted that the league was months away. Except they weren’t.

In an unexpected turn of events, fans received news a month later that the league might not commence until 2023. While that wasn’t a surprise to many, it made some wonder why Danny ramped up some hype.

When it does start eventually, you can take your chances predicting who might win. Enthusiasts in the Philippines can head over to MightyTips to place their bets. They will find a compilation of betting sites, including bookmakers accepting PayPal.

As Evelyn Balyton points out, we’re in for an exciting ride if the new season is anything like the previous. She’s the resident expert author on the XFL–check out her profile here.

Recent developments

A year down the line + an A-List Hollywood celebrity owner = plenty of talk about the competition, right? Wrong.

More baffling is that the co-owner is one of the powerful women in sports and backed by RedBird Capital. With such a line-up, you’d think we would be praying for respite from the endless PR news, but no. The silence has been deafening.

New developments came in the form of an announcement about negotiations with the Canadian Football League (CFL). The meetings began in March, aiming to grow the game of football.

Although the proceedings were wrapped in non-disclosure agreements, they were believed to be about collaboration. Rumors of a merger died down swiftly, though, before the unfortunate announcement in July.

The only bit of current news came in that statement when the two announced consultations had broken down. CFL Commissioner, Randy Ambrosie, couldn’t go into details but stated they talked about every aspect of the game.

The underlying message was how to grow the game and double it in the future for all stakeholders’ benefit. He expected to consult with all stakeholders, such as fans and university football, on how to achieve that.

While the talks were dead on arrival, the CFL Commissioner did not rule out subsequent discussions. He was hopeful that the positive relationship would yield to further consultations soon.

What to expect

With the CFL talks ended, the competition’s President has reiterated his desire to fulfill their vision. That entails bringing the best product; that is, players roared on by fans on the stands.

The Rock and Danny released a statement asserting that every player, coach, and fan remains top priority. They insist that they can only resume work with the assurance of the players’ and fans’ safety.

That explains why they pushed the start date to 2023, considering the pandemic is still raging. Danny has hinted several times that management is in consultations and is carrying out their plans. As the President has said countless times, the opportunity is too great to risk with a rushed start.

Since the consortium bought the rights to the original association, we assume the teams will remain as they are. Additionally, the merchandise is still on sale in the store.

However, there’s no official confirmation to that effect, and management deleted the ‘Teams’ section, so there could be a change. Part of the original eight teams include:

  • LA Wildcats
  • Tampa Bay Vipers
  • Dallas Renegades
  • DC Defenders
  • Seattle Dragons

There’s no confirmation on the rules either, although there was widespread praise for the current ones launched in 2020. Management can decide to keep or ditch them.

Bottom line

When The Rock purchased the XFL, there was real hope that it might finally take off. A year into the deal and the board announced that the new season would begin in 2022. However, they announced its postponement till at least 2023, throwing fresh doubt into its future.

Management remains positive they will commence as soon as the pandemic is over as there have been behind-the-scenes meetings. The owners want to capture the soul and culture of football, founded on the health and safety of all stakeholders.

Mark is the founder and editor of XFL News Hub. The site was started in January of 2018, within days of the announced return of the XFL. Contact him directly by emailing mark.perry@xflnewshub.com

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