XFL Returns to Los Angeles for 2020 Relaunch

Los Angeles will get a chance to defend its XFL Championship. The XFL confirmed during today’s press conference that the league will be returning to Los Angeles as one of its eight cities for their 2020 relaunch. The team’s home games will be held at the Stub Hub Center in Carson.

The XFL originally launched in 2001 as a joint venture between Vince McMahon and NBC Sports. It lasted only one season, mainly due to poor television ratings. It was announced by Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment on January 25, 2018, that the league would be relaunched, with play to begin in 2020.

In the league’s lone season, the Los Angeles Xtreme was the XFL’s Southern California franchise. Led by quarterback Tommy Maddox, the Xtreme won the XFL Championship, called “The Million Dollar Game,” at the LA Coliseum. That remains Los Angeles’ only professional football championship since 1984.

No team names or logos were announced at the press conference. A source has advised that the league is leaning towards not calling the Los Angeles team the Xtreme, but nothing is set in stone yet.

The other seven cities selected for the league’s relaunch are Dallas, Houston, New York, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Washington DC. New York is the only city besides Los Angeles that hosted an XFL team in 2001.

As we first reported back in June, the XFL had contacted the Stub Hub Center about the availability of the stadium after the Chargers move to Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park after the 2019 NFL season.  The football capacity for Chargers games at Stub Hub is 27,000. The Los Angeles Xtreme averaged 22,679 fans per game, though the average is skewed by drawing 35,000 fans to the opening game.

With the XFL season starting after the Super Bowl, the league’s season will overlap some with the MLS’ Los Angeles Galaxy, who also play their home games at the Stub Hub Center. We have been told that the Galaxy is considered the venue’s primary tenant and will have priority over the XFL franchise.

With home games at Stub Hub, the Los Angeles XFL team will have the second smallest stadium capacity in the league behind Washington DC.

When the XFL operated in 2001, the Los Angeles market had no NFL teams, but now there are two. Adding a third team to the Los Angeles area, especially when the market’s enthusiasm for the Chargers has been lukewarm at best, is a risk.

The XFL is placing seven of its eight teams in larger markets that have NFL teams. This is in comparison to the Alliance of American Football, which opens in 2019 and will be the biggest competitor to the XFL for players, who will only have teams in one city with an NFL team and opted for smaller markets. The AAF will play its inaugural season with teams in Atlanta, Birmingham, Orlando, Memphis, Arizona (Phoenix), Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and San Diego.

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Steve Bryant
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