Former Director of Football Operations, Innovation and Strategy for the XFL, Sam Schwartzstein, tweeted about how much time it could take to get players ready for the 2021 XFL season:
Considering we know most of the XFL players have been either in offseason NFL camps, or have been staying in shape to try to get into a camp, some of the conditioning time may not be as long as what is expected from the college game.
The Pac-12, especially the California teams, are not allowed to have full practices because of COVID-19 guidelines. Considering we aren’t ready to start the season yet, this wouldn’t apply to the XFL.
Many fans are anticipating news and movement towards the 2021 season as soon as possible, but let’s look at why we still have time, and there’s no need for worry. Schwartzstein says it would take six weeks to get players ready for games. Here’s what that means.
The 2020 XFL season kicked off one week after the NFL’s Super Bowl, which was held on February 2nd. If the plan is to mirror that calendar, this year’s Super Bowl is on February 7th. Which means the 2021 season of the XFL wouldn’t begin until the 13th at least.
Last year’s XFL Draft was held on October 15th, which is a month away from the time this went to press. That may have to be moved back, sure, but if six weeks is what we need to get the players ready once they get allocated to their teams, we still have plenty of time to get 2021 planned.
There are things that do need to happen quickly though. Coaches need to be called or found, last year’s players need to be contacted to see whether they still want to play or not, venue leases need to be finalized.
At this point, there are four that we know are at the very least willing to house teams: Dallas, LA, Houston, and Tampa. Tampa did recently file an objection to the assignment of the lease, but that was just because the money wasn’t right. They want $90,000 to move forward. Houston’s total was over $1,000,000, so, I’m certain it’s just a formality.
If the league decides to play in a one area bubble similar to the NHL and NBA, then the leases may not even be that big of a deal, they can continue to negotiate with the remaining four stadiums.
Last year’s training camp was similar to a bubble, and XFL President Jeffery Pollack’s half brother is Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the NHL, so the league is not unfamiliar with the concept.
It’s the middle of September. Team staffs need to be hired, executives, vendors, many from last year would certainly return, media personnel-it may behoove the league to hire a group with experience covering the league already…hint…hint.
Broadcasting rights and other operational issues do need to be tended to, but we have until January to get all of this, including the draft, finalized. Three and a half months should suffice.
I know we all want to get the clock running on the season, and these things take time to get going. Anticipation is really affecting us all, especially players and coaches.
The fact is we have time to get ready for 2021, if things start in the next few weeks. Which we’re sure they will. Much has already happened behind the scenes, and according to some close to the league, we will know more very soon.
So stay patient my friends, 2021 is not lost yet. More will be revealed.
For the Love of Football.