Nearly three years after purchasing the XFL for $15 million, Dany Garcia and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the league’s co-owners, are ready to take stock of their ambitious venture into the world of spring football. In a recent interview with Tom Schad from USA Today, they looked back on the league’s successful 2023 season and shared their plans for the future.
Dwayne Johnson emphasized the importance of patience and consistency in developing the league, quoting, “Rome wasn’t built in a day. This league isn’t going to be built in a day. It’s day-by-day, year over year.” Despite the challenges of starting a new football league, the XFL managed to end its first season on a high note, with a championship game set to be televised on ABC.
When asked about the XFL’s performance in terms of attendance and TV viewership, Dany Garcia responded, “Knowing that we have a lot of work to do, I just see a tremendous amount of success. And it was an intricate measuring system. We had a lot of marks to hit. So I would say overall, I give us a very high grade.”
The XFL’s first season not only provided an exciting spectacle for fans but also offered opportunities for players looking to make a mark. The league has already seen 54 of its players receive tryout opportunities with NFL teams. However, this also creates a challenge, with Garcia noting, “We celebrated this potential because it means that we become an even more attractive property year after year. What we have to do is have systems in place that don’t just rely on a player to get great play but rely on the team to play dynamically.”
As for the future, Garcia confirmed that none of the existing eight teams would be relocated in 2024. Instead, the focus will be on strengthening the connections between teams and their host cities, and improving the care and experience for athletes. “We’re in it for the long haul,” added Johnson.
Potential expansion is also on the agenda. “Now that may not be exactly 2024, but expanding and bringing in new markets is going to be very important,” said Garcia, with Johnson adding that he’s been advocating for a team in his native Hawaii.
The interview with Garcia and Johnson provides an exciting insight into the XFL’s inaugural season and its future ambitions. The co-owners emphasize their commitment to building the league, creating opportunities for players, and delivering a quality product for fans. Their long-term vision, underscored by a commitment to improving the player experience and strengthening team-city connections, suggests an exciting future for the XFL. This interview is a must-read for any football fan interested in the development of alternative leagues and the future of spring football.
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