San Diego State University announced on Tuesday that they plan to play their home games at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA. But there’s a problem. The Mountain West is playing their football in the spring, and that’s the venue of the XFL’s LA Wildcats.
The Wildcats were 2-2 at home this past season, and would be looking to improve on that record in 2021. Hopefully, on the field of their home stadium. With an average attendance of just over 12,000, year two could be even better.
The lease on the stadium is one of the four that have been assumed by Alpha Acquico, the new owners of the XFL. So barring the 2021 season being in a one location bubble, the Wildcats home games may have to be exclusively scheduled around the MWC calendar.
There has been no announcement as to exactly when the conference will play, just that it will be in the spring. It’s a scenario that can be worked around, but initially it could be a logistical cluster.
The reason the school decided to play in Carson is that recently they were able to move forward with the demolition of their former stadium.
“Once the sale of the site was finalized with the city and we knew we could play football in Aztec Stadium in fall 2022, based on all the information we had gathered, it became clear the existing stadium had to come down in the first quarter of 2021. Our intention had been to play a final season in SDCCU Stadium. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has forced our hand and we must move the spring 2021 games as well.”SDSU Athletic Director John David Wicker
The 27,000 seat Dignity Health Stadium is also home to the LA Galaxy of the MLS. DHS was where the LA Chargers played their home games in 2019, before SoFi Stadium was completed, which they now share with their southern California NFC counterpart, the Rams.
It’s hard to tell whether the Mountain West will amend their decision to play in the spring, like the Big Ten. COVID-19 is not the only issue that is affecting the western part of the country. Wildfires stretching from Washington State all the way down to southern California also play a part in when the schools commence playing traditionally fall sports.
It is possible that because of this, the XFL would work out a temporary deal with SoFi, but that’s unlikely. The Dignity Health Sports Park ownership group, Anschutz Entertainment (AEG), once had plans of building a stadium for the LA Rams, until owner Stan Kroenke decided to do it himself.
AEG does own the Penchanga Arena in San Diego. The venue seats 12,000, and has been used for Arena League Football, the NHL, the NBA, and boxing. Although it’s unlikely to be viable, the size of the arena wouldn’t be large enough to field an XFL team.
With collegiate football games historically played on Saturdays, Wildcats home games could be scheduled for Sundays, or when the Aztecs are on the road.
The new ownership would need to manage this quickly, but without the MWC announcing a schedule yet, not a lot can be done. The XFL could go ahead and decide to play in a bubble, either in Houston or St Louis, which would make the whole thing moot.
Or, if the league decides it will play its games at the team’s stadiums, getting a jump on the scheduling would help mitigate the situation.
We’ll keep an eye on it. For the Love of Football
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