When Vince McMahon announced the XFL would be launching in January of 2018, one of the first questions that got asked was: what cities would be chosen to have teams? The XFL then went on to announce 8 cities, all big markets, and all already have an NFL team, excluding St. Louis.
Many fans questioned why some big markets like Chicago were not included. However, two years after the cities were announced, in an interview with Sports Innovation Lab, former XFL Director of Football Operations, Sam Schwartzstein revealed that Chicago, along with San Francisco, was in the original plans for the XFL. Chicago would be in place of the team that ended up being Tampa, and San Francisco would have been in place of Seattle.
San Francisco was a target for the XFL because of the XFL’s success in San Francisco during the 2001 inaugural season. San Francisco was dropped from the 2020 XFL because its venue, Oracle Park, was too expensive. San Francisco was replaced by Seattle which gave the XFL a team in the Pacific Northwest. Looking back on this past season, Seattle was an amazing choice as they had some of the best fans in the league and were close to the top of the league in tickets sold.
Tampa replaced Chicago because the XFL wanted a temperate climate team. They also wanted a team in Florida and Tampa was a good option there.
Although San Francisco would have been a solid place for the XFL, I think it’s safe to say they were very happy with how Seattle turned out. However, Tampa didn’t do great and there were rumors about the Vipers moving to Orlando. Could Chicago be added as a possibility?
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