One year ago, WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon announced that The XFL will be returning in early 2020. The Original XFL, which was introduced back in 2001, folded just after one season. It is being said that The Original XFL failed because of a number of reasons. Below are those reasons in no particular order:
- Vince McMahon gave himself only one year to prepare for the opening of The Original XFL and he was not so experienced in the world of Professional American Football as he was in the world of Professional Wrestling and that would start the demise of the league as soon as it started.
- A blimp that was advertising The Original XFL crashed and it was heard around the world. In an effort to gain even more press & media buzz, a blimp that was advertising The XFL Logo flew over an NFL Game in Oakland, CA. Unfortunately for The XFL, even that went horribly awry when the blimp crashed into a seafood restaurant.
- Vince McMahon himself would appear on the field on the first game itself and act like a character he would portray in The WWE. From that point on, The XFL was already leaning a bit too far toward Professional Wrestling rather than Professional Football. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Good Old JR” Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler were even part of The Original XFL.
- The lights in a stadium suddenly went out. It seems that someone forgot to put gas in the generators, knocking an entire professional sports game off the air.
- The ratings continued to spiral down right after the first game was played. When the primary game in week one was played it wasn’t exactly all that competitive, but it did garner much higher ratings than what NBC or WWE were expecting and this lead to a buzz that they had a hit on their hands. Unfortunately, when week two started, the quality of the games kept on degrading and the league seemed more like Professional Wrestling than it did Professional Football.
- The cheerleaders seemed like they were promoting sex on national television which didn’t set well with majority of the spectators.
- The Million Dollar Game which was designed to be The “WrestleMania” of football ended up being the final nail in the league’s coffin. It was played before a stadium nowhere near sold out and a TV audience that continued to nosedive. Shortly after the final game of the season, NBC announced that it would not be broadcasting a second season, even though there was already one planned and McMahon closed the league permanently.
Beyond all of that, one of the more crucial mistakes of The Original XFL was trying to blend Professional Football & Professional Wrestling. This just added storyline and drama which shouldn’t be part of Professional Football as those are the ingredients of Professional Wrestling.
McMahon Learned From Mistakes
This time around though, Vince McMahon appears to have cleaned up those issues that led to The Original XFL’s demise. Players are said to be compensated much better than they previously were. Also, Vince McMahon has gave himself a much longer time than he had in The Original XFL. This was done to study the market more and he also hired a number of people with Professional Football background to let everyone know that he is serious this time around. Surely these actions will see a drastic change on how The New XFL will operate and go about things as well as how these changes will influence how well The New XFL will perform. But the biggest factor that The XFL might need in order to be successful this time around is something that is off-field. This factor is none other than llealized sports betting.
Legalized Sports Betting
Nielson Sports projects that legalized sports betting could net The NFL an estimated $2.3 Billion annually, largely due to sponsorships and advertising. That is a pretty significant amount of cash and if The XFL saw even a fraction of that growth, it would go a long way. It is also being said that the sports betting market is growing rapidly. Gamblers can bet on stuff like how many yards will a specific player gain on his next touch or gamblers can even bet on stuff like who will be the game’s leading receiver, tackler or scorer. A new XFL could mean big
The possibilities are endless and it could all be legal in February 2020 when The XFL is officially relaunched, so the sky is genuinely the limit when it comes to how The XFL chooses to embrace gambling culture. Majority of fans just sit at home or at a bar and enjoy their viewing experience while following sports betting. The XFL must capitalize on this and offer one major reason why it is a much superior entertainment product than The NFL.
Sports Betting Key To XFL Success
McMahon must capitalize on this element that seems to be popular in fan circles but still taboo for the league itself. While The NFL has realized that this sports betting element could go a long way for them and add to their success, they haven’t touched on this yet and they haven’t gotten involved with it whatsoever. The XFL can change that and you better believe that there are gamblers and fantasy football players out there who would heavily want to get involved with this.
The XFL is doing the right thing by giving themselves enough time to get ready for play. They have plenty of time to float ideas and don’t have to rush into anything. The time they have right now is enough time for McMahon and The XFL to iron out how they want to handle sports betting and take full advantage of it. And if they want The XFL to work this time around, a game built around gambling interests could be just their ticket.
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