Recent reports from Axios confirm that the XFL and USFL are in advanced merger talks. While the situation is fluid with contracts, the USFL players’ union, and government approvals still in discussion, it is important to consider which teams are most likely to be affected. Let’s delve into the facts as we know them today.
The Situation as It Stands
DC Defenders, St. Louis Battlehawks, Arlington Renegades, and San Antonio Brahmas are reportedly safe. The Seattle Sea Dragons also appear to be safe despite concerns regarding their distance from the Texas Hub and less-than-stellar attendance record in 2023.
There has been chatter that this new league could move to the USFL’s April season timeline. This would help places like DC and Seattle as weather would be favorable. In 2023, DC and Seattle were hit with some cold and rainy weather games that impacted attendance. Warmer weather will bring in more fans. DC already had great attendance despite the weather, Seattle could use the the help.
Orlando Guardians faced attendance issues similar to the Seattle Sea Dragons in 2023. A USFL April schedule could potentially hurt the Guardians as May and June are rainy seasons in Florida. But this team appears to be safe as well.
Houston Roughnecks and Houston Gamblers
A significant point of discussion revolves around the city of Houston and the XFL’s Roughnecks. Given that the USFL already has the Houston Gamblers, the new league’s formation raises questions about the viability of having both teams.
With talks suggesting that the merged league might consist of 8, 10, or 12 teams, and not the full 16, it hints at the possibility of the XFL relinquishing a couple of teams. This places the Roughnecks in a precarious position, making their future uncertain. We go more in-depth in this on USFL News Hub’s article about the USFL-XFL merger. Houston will still have a team, but it could be the Houston Gamblers.
Vegas Vipers’ Uncertain Future
The future of the Vegas Vipers remains unclear due to their existing stadium issues. Potential moves to Arizona or Tennessee are on the cards, but each location presents its challenges. Arizona would be too hot for the April to June schedule and the USFL would already bring in a team in Tennessee, the Memphis Showboats.
The recent hiring of a new coach adds another layer to the Vipers’ complex scenario. Moreover, the involvement level of RedBird Capital in the merger, a primary force behind Vegas, adds to the uncertainty surrounding the team’s fate. If RedBird is out, then so would a team in Vegas.
While the situation remains fluid, and many factors are still at play, the potential XFL-USFL merger prompts questions about the fate of several teams. Keeping a close eye on the developments, we wait to see how the restructuring will affect the teams and what the future holds for the XFL and USFL as they work towards forging a united front in spring football.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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