Seattle is one of eight cities that will be getting an XFL team. When will teams begin play? How is this iteration of the XFL different from its predecessor of the same name? We answer all your questions here.
Ready or not, the XFL is coming to Seattle.
The XFL is back after one failed season in 2001 in which Seattle did not have a team. The league announced last week Seattle will be home to one of eight franchises this time, with games beginning the weekend of Feb. 8-9, 2020.
Seattle fans, are you on board? Here are answers to some of the questions you might have.
Have any other questions about the XFL and its Seattle franchise? Leave them in the comments below, and we’ll continue to update this post as questions arise.
Will WWE be a big part of XFL again?
No, and that is something the league is trying to make very clear. In 2001, the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) and NBC were co-owners of the league, and there was a big WWE influence, from the controversial scantily clad cheerleaders, to the rougher play with fewer rules and with WWE personalities as part of the broadcasts. None of that will be part of the reboot.
WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon is the sole funder of the venture and will own all eight teams, under the arm of Alpha Entertainment, which he reportedly started from the sale of WWE stock worth about $100 million.
“We aren’t going to have much of what the XFL had, including the cheerleaders, who aren’t really part of the game anymore,” McMahon said recently as he announced the new league. “The audience wants entertainment with football, and that’s what we are going to give them.”
But they aren’t going to give them the opening scramble, where two players would scramble after a football placed at midfield to determine who got the ball first.
Who will the players be?
It will be a mixture. Expect a lot of players who came close to making an NFL team but were cut at the end. This could be another chance to impress NFL teams. The XFL will also lure players trying to get back into the NFL, and names like former Heisman Trophy winners Johnny Manziel and Tim Tebow are being mentioned.
The quality of play was poor in 2001, in part because teams didn’t have time to properly prepare as the league was rushed into existence. This time, there’s an extra year to prepare, and the league knows it can only survive if the quality of play is good.
One thing the league won’t be is a place for players with criminal records. McMahon said that will be a nonstarter.
What other cities have teams?
New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Houston, St. Louis, Dallas and Tampa Bay.
How will it be different from the NFL?
The football will essentially be the same when it comes to the basic rules. But the XFL is looking at a handful of innovations, many dealing with speeding games up. McMahon said earlier this year he would like to see games played in two hours. Expect shorter play clocks and — this is a guess — maybe a running clock after incompletions.
When will Seattle gets its coach?
Update: Former Seahawks quarterback Jim Zorn will be the Seattle XFL team’s GM and coach.
Who is the league’s commissioner?
Oliver Luck, father of Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck, who has a long background in football and administration. Oliver Luck, a former star quarterback at West Virginia, was athletic director at West Virginia from 2010-14 and president and general manager of the Houston Dynamo of MLS from 2005-10. The past four years, Luck was the NCAA’s executive vice president for regulatory affairs
How many games will teams play?
There will be a 10-game season, followed by two weeks of playoffs.
Where will the team play?
Can I buy tickets now?
Season tickets can be reserved with a $50 deposit for each seat on the league’s website at XFL.com.
Will the league succeed this time?
That’s a question I can’t answer, but it seems much more likely than last time as the preparation is so much better. A couple of big questions: Will people watch football year round, and even if so, how will the XFL compete with the eight-team Alliance of American Football, which begins in 2019?