How The XFL Can Dominate Spring Football Long Term

-John Turner

photo credit: Washington Times

Last year the XFL proved that there is in fact an interest in pro football in the spring. In fact, I believe the year before, the Alliance of American Football was well under way to finishing out a strong first season before the bizarre abrupt ending came and shut the league down. The Canadian Football League has been around for over 100 years, but it can’t seem to get over the financial and popularity hump that I wish it would. The UFL, NFL Europe, World League of American Football, World Football League, and last but not least the USFL all came and went. Some were in like a lion and out like a lamb, and some ended tragically.

photo credit: Toronto Star

For the most part the game of football is healthy and the big daddy of them all, the NFL has shown no signs of ever being realistically in trouble as far as ratings and revenue is concerned. The NCAA has kinda sorta been the developmental league for about a century. However there’s a reason folks keep popping up in an attempt to launch another pro league with staying power, and that’s because the game itself is so fun to watch and participate in whether you’re a player, coach, owner, scout, or fan.

photo credit: NewsOK

Most recently The XFL did just about everything right. They had exciting new rules. They had passionate fans with numbers that were growing. They had a great replay system. They had live sounds from the field and sidelines. They had great leadership in the front office. They had great coaches. They had a plethora of talent on the field. They had big markets and a great broadcasting partnership that gave them the best exposure they could ask for. The one thing the league didn’t have was a defense against Covid-19, and on April 13th… down went Frazier.

photo credit: SI

I was heartbroken to see the league I had been traveling to see and covering go down for now the second year in a row and it honestly put me through a state of depression. Then followed of course the canceling of the CFL along with all the other indoor and arena leagues… What was happening to my game? Most of Division 1, all of Division 2, and 3 also made the announcement that there would be no fall football. Then the game found a way to push forward. Although I had my doubts that the NFL should and would play, play indeed they did. The SEC along with a small handful of conferences said they would push forward. Be it for money or the willingness to struggle through, most of the FBS eventually rejoined play.

photo credit: CNBC

Just before the start of fall football the XFL went up for auction as previous owner Vince McMahon had declared bankruptcy and terminated all operations and staff. Lo and behold emerged one bidder… A team of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, his ex wife and business partner Danny Garcia, and an up and coming investment and marketing firm known as RedBird Capital. All three of them have been incredibly successful in nearly every business venture they’ve embarked on. Johnson is Hollywood’s highest grossing actor and a household name. Garcia is co-founder of Seven Bucks Production and has executive produced a slew of successful shows and movies. And RedBird Capital has more money than they know what to do with as they approach the ten billion dollar net worth level through all their various and impressive list of ventures and partnerships.

So how can they come together and make it all work? I mean that is in fact the 15 million dollar question, isn’t it? So let’s take a look at what has worked and what hasn’t and meet in the middle, shall we? Surely by now we’ve seen enough mistakes in the past to learn from, as well as plenty of thing to love that these leagues have nailed on the head and got us watching in the first place. So lets take a stab here.

photo credit: NewsWeek

QUALITY LEADERSHIP AT THE TOP

No brainer here. Oliver Luck was the perfect choice for the job in XFL 2.0. He gathered together an extremely talented group of minds to head up everything from scouting, ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, team presidents, coaches, venue selections, and negotiations. He amassed partnerships with ANC Combines, Elevate, The Spring League, ESPN, and Fox. So Johnson and company need to make sure the league is in good hands and have a certain level of brilliance at the top to ensure everything can come together as smoothly as it did two years ago, when they were announcing a major deal every month it seemed, on they way to the inaugural launch.

photo credit: Supreme Court

It’s hard to imagine Luck returning with the way the league ended last year as he may be burned out and he is still in a dual lawsuit with ex owner McMahon. However money talks so I can’t completely rule it out. There are some out there that also qualify in my opinion that could or should be on the radar. Johnson is no stranger to maintaining relationships and it’s likely that many would love to have the opportunity to work with him.

photo credit: Cigar Aficionado

Ed Reed is a guy that comes to mind as commissioner. He’s currently the Chief of Staff at The U, where him and Johnson attended and has been a major factor in turning the culture around, and an outstanding job with helping lure in recruits. It’s likely that he has a relationship with Johnson as Dwayne likes keeping up with Miami alumni and participating in events associated with the university.

photo credit: Buffalo News

Dan Morgan is another Miami big name that’s currently in a front office, Once a star linebacker for the Hurricanes and Carolina Panthers, he now serves as Director of Player Personnel for the Buffalo Bills. He could potentially fill the void left by Eric Galko, founder and owner of Optimum Scouting. One might say he’s brought in some pretty good talent to that team.

photo credit: Bleacher Report

Doug Whaley was Senior Vice President and Director of Football Operations. Would there be any way Johnson could get ahold of somebody like say, Ozzie Newsome? Maybe a guy like Kevin Colbert or Omar Khan might be interested. These are unlikely choices as they are ambitious but keep in mind, Ambitious is Johnson’s middle name.

photo credit: Fox Business

There’s a slew of other front office positions to be filled but these three are huge. Jeffrey Pollack is still technically the league President and Chief Operating Officer and if he keeps that title it’ll make things really interesting. We already know he’s been securing stadium lease renewals for 2022 and I’d be shocked if he’s let go. It’s very likely he returns and if he does I can see a lot of familiar faces back with the league and hopefully not a complete overhaul.

photo credit: Fashion United

STRONG PARTNERSHIPS AND MARKETING

Dwayne likes to think big and perhaps this might be the biggest area of them all to watch out for. Disney, Apple, McDonalds, Walmart, Under Armour, EA Sports/2K, you name it. The guy is a walking billboard and a magnet to high end marketing. It also seems like the more he gets involved with, the more his enterprises expand. He’s got a tequila, clothing line, advertisement firm, production company, and more. One thing he’s always been is privy to what fans want, and what they buy. There’s no doubt he’ll try to go all in with some of the most popular brands in the country. We’re talking happy meals, gear, posters, gaming apps, video games, reality series’, and more. Honestly they can’t drop the ball on this one.

Another thing they can easily do is market the players and coaches through the various other endeavors they own with ad campaigns. Johnny Manziel advertising Teremana Tequila comes to mind and would be nothing short of brilliant. More so I’d try to get as many players and coaches as I could to get endorsement deals through local businesses in each market. Considering Johnson and Garcia own a company that does just that, it shouldn’t be that difficult.

photo credit: CFL

GET RIGHTS TO THE AAF, USFL, UFL, WFL, AFL, FFL, AND BUY THE CFL

Ok John, don’t drink and type… but wait, there’s more. Yes the XFL is already an eight team league, but everyone for the most part would agree that that’s not enough to hold the attention span of the average fan that would consider a short list spring league “fledgling”. They currently also own the rights to the first edition of the XFL from 2001 as that was part of the purchase. If they wanted they are eligible to relaunch with 15 in total since it’s unlikely they’d put two teams in New York… for now.

photo credit: CBS Sports

If the XFL sold for 15 million last summer, then the AAF would go for 10% of that. They have no physical properties or assets at this point, and they’d only be buying the rights. However they’d get six new cities and eight trademarks and logos all ready to go. The AAF only did well in attendance in about half of the cities but marketing and whether played a bit of a factor there. When the AAF originally launched there was non stop discussion and comparisons of the new spring leagues and how the champions of each should play each other and blah blah blah… well here’s the chance to make a lot of fans very happy.

photo credit: WSJ

Same can be said for the USFL. Jamie Cuadra purchased the rights to the league in 2012 for between 500K and 1 million, with the hope of relaunching the league with the business model the AAF attempted. Well, that never materialized and I can’t imagine he wouldn’t accept what he paid to have it off his hands with slight interest. There’s nearly 20 teams in the USFL that the XFL would have the rights to, and although you wouldn’t use them all, there’s plenty to choose from. By far the USFL came the closest to the level of the NFL as far as quality of play and talent is concerned, and there are still thousands and thousands of people out there that would love to see these teams and logos revived. I know I would.

photo credit: Detroit Jock City

The briefly ran UFL was nothing too special but it had a few markets the other leagues didn’t, and also had a few kick ass logos and names. It helps that some pretty good coaches and players spent time there and believed in it. Why not seize the opportunity to have a little more nostalgia? Unlike some of the other leagues I’m certain the rights to this one can be bought for a pretty please with sugar on top, a selfie with The Rock, and a song. The WFL would likely also be had for a all-you-can-eat voucher to a decent taco truck on any given Tuesday. The Idea behind grabbing up the AFL rights is simply to save time and money in trademarks for other cities not represented by the other various leagues purchased. Oh and uh, I don’t think Ricky Williams is doing much with the FFL, so he might as well dump a couple teams into the XFL and just be a minority owner.

photo credit: Bleacher Report

Last but not least is the toughest call of them all… The CFL. Yes that’s right, the league that is currently still in business albeit on life support has in my opinion fallen victim to Father Time, and now I fear Mother Nature will take its course. The Canadian Football League has been around just as long as the NFL has but this last decade and really the last 25 years has been a very slow burn for the league financially. More Canadians today like the NFL more than they do the CFL, and football is already well behind hockey for the sport of choice in the country. This year might make two consecutive seasons the league doesn’t play if fans can’t attend games. Unlike the NFL, the CFL cannot afford to play without fans because they simply do not have a television deal that would allow them to have that buffer.

photo credit: CBC

The biggest kicker is that it’s unlikely that the league would consider a merger because it views itself as more valuable than other leagues. It looks down on other spring leagues that attempt to launch and stick around. After all it has seen many come and go. However Covid-19 is doing to them exactly what it did to XFL last year… putting it out of business. The game itself with three downs, a wider and longer field, and goal posts at the front of the end zone, may be more fun to watch and have a faster pace, but at this point I believe it’s outdated. What is also outdated is the ratio rule. I think you’d want to have the best players on the team regardless of where they’re from, but these gripes are for another article at another time. Purchase the league and keep the teams where they are. Evaluate all staffs and rosters and prepare for the 11 on 11, 100 yard, four down game. I would however keep some of the owners around as minority owners to keep some morale and continuity. That oh by the way, adds nine more teams to the mix… starting to get crowded, eh?

photo credit: Texas Monthly

MINORITY OWNERS FOR EACH TEAM AND FORM PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE MLS AND MORE

This would absolutely propel the league forward financially to a whole new level. In each city there should be no less than three known individuals who are looking for a solid investment and to help add personality to the team. The minority owners can share up tp 49% of a team and therefore split up to 49% of the profits. Of course they also be responsible for 49% of the operational costs. Imagine Eminem being an owner in Detroit and Jay Z being one in New York for a moment. Wouldn’t it just be a blast to see them on the sideline from time to time or in the booth with the commentators going back and forth at some point during the game? This would allow the league to spread their finances out over a wider scale and spend more on marketing and so forth.

photo credit: Black and Red United

If the idea is pitched correctly and the league can show these potential minority owners that the investment would be a sound one, then I think you’d have celebrities and other business venture owners wrapped around the block to cut a check for a piece of the pie. The biggest reason these spring leagues keep failing is money. If they have plenty of people with plenty of money and stick to whats working there’s no reason the league couldn’t prosper. The MLS would be the perfect league to jump into a relationship with. They have been expanding at a high rate and recently raised their salary cap significantly, which shows signs of good business. The biggest factor is that the majority of teams in the league have smaller multi use stadiums that are the perfect size for the XFL, not too big, not too small. With a smaller house to fill the league can create a slightly more intimate setting among its fans and have the opportunity to create a demand, assuming the product on and off the field continues to show and prove. The owners would be able to split some revenue and the XFL would also add to the stadium operations cost. Win-win situation, if you ask me.

photo credit: JOE

Also the ability for cross promotion would be limitless. I’m also not opposed to the idea that the league should try to convince the NHL, NBA, and MLB owners to get in on the action. They all play in the spring so why not take the opportunity to cross promote with them. Say you go to an LA Wildcats game, and if you’re in the stadium during the game you can buy a ticket to a Dodgers, Angels, Kings, Ducks, Lakers, Galaxy, or Clippers game for 25% off or so. Or buying a season ticket package gets you a discount on game bundles for all the leagues, allowing fans to get to see all of their hometown teams play for a nice chunk off. Might actually help these other leagues more than you’d think. Also for those paying attention, the MLS and Liga MX have been in discussions about merging for a while now and have already started cross investing into each other. It would only make sense to model a league after a venture such as that.

photo credit: Nashville Super Speedway

Lastly if I’m in the creative department in the league and looking to branch out to other professional leagues I’d no doubt launch a NASCAR team. Former DC Defenders team President Erik A Moses has already joined the circuit in a capacity and other folks not typically of the NASCAR mold historically have also jumped in. I’d think an XFL car would be absolutely loved and the merchandise they could create from it would be a hit. My Lord I’d buy an XFL NASCAR jacket in a heartbeat. Another huge factor that I don’t have numbers to back the theory for, is that I’d be willing to bet there’s a lot of NASCAR fans that have given up on the NFL for a variety of reasons. If the XFL can sway these fans and those of the other leagues to watch spring ball it’s over.

photo credit: CBS Sports

MAKE THE LEAGUE RELEVANT ALL YEAR LONG AND LAUNCH A 24/7 NETWORK

The NFL does this to perfection. The Hall of fame game leads to preseason. Regular season is approximately Labor Day to President’s Day. Then we have the combine followed by the first round of free agency. The owners meetings occur and daily speculation leads up to the draft. Rookie camps fire up before we hit the June 1st cuts, that typically ignite another miniature free agency period. A wind sprint of training camps take lift off and what do you know… rinse and repeat.

photo credit: The Motley Fool

It’s also helpful that the NFL has their own network that they can constantly keep reminding people about every single thing happening during the season as well as off season, which for me is just as exciting. If the XFL can launch a 24/7 network they would knock this thing out of the park. Of course they’d need to hire me though, but that’s a given. With all the reality show things they’d like to put together combined with all the highlights and background segments they could produce, they would have more than enough ammunition to be much more entertaining than the NFL Network. Oh by the way buying all the defunct leagues gives them access to all the archive games and highlights that can be aired during slow times.

photo credit Hollywood Reporter

If the league can create a calendar to the liking of the NFL’s they’ll be in great shape because fans like me pretty much have memorized when to expect the next NFL event to occur. For example, if the Super Bowl is played on the Sunday of President’s Day weekend and I were to have something to do with the scheduling of the XFL, I’d use the following weekend to showcase the league, its teams, and players to get die hard and casual fans caught up on who’s who in the league. In fact I’d probably use that entire week. I would then have a two week preseason that is very unique. The concept they used last season where all the teams were in Houston was pretty brilliant. It allowed for the league to keep travel costs down and allowed media and any fans a chance to get to see all the teams. I would try to use a series of hub cities and have clusters of teams there that don’t play each other in the regular season to play a series of scrimmages through the course of the two weeks.

photo credit: Florida Sports Report

Immediately following the preseason would be a week of final roster cuts and week one, which puts the beginning of the season at around the 1st or 2nd weekend of March. Pushing the start of the season forward about three weeks allows for slightly warmer temperatures to most fan’s delight. Keeping the games on Saturday and Sunday is a good idea, but I’d probably add a Monday night game if TV scheduling allows it. In fact if they can launch their own network, there’s no reason they couldn’t air on Thursday and or Friday nights as well. Another bit of TV scheduling I’d try to get done is attempt to be as flexible as possible by placing the game of the week in the most prime time slot. Perhaps this could start at the half way mark of the season and continue throughout the season.

photo credit: Athlon Sports

I’d suggest an 18 game schedule as it would take us right on into the beginning of the NFL season. Giving each team a bye week with an all star week at the three quarter mark should have the final regular season games played around the last weekend of July. A 16 team playoff field should put the championship game on the weekend before or of Labor Day, which is perfect since for example the NFL kicks off the 2021 season on September 9. This also coincides with when the NFL makes their final roster cuts, so like we saw back in September of 2019, the XFL held their draft shortly after the NFL final cut day. Keep in mind there can be another draft by the XFL that takes place at the end of the college football and NFL seasons. Lots of students may not want to enter the transfer portal or attempt to graduate and could declare for the XFL rookie draft… And just like that, the league manages to stay in the news all calendar year long.

photo credit: Bleacher Report

HAVE A SET TIERED PAY SCALE AND STICK TO IT

Ok, so we’ve figured out what they need to do with the front office area and added a ton of teams to the already expensive operation, so now let’s talk about what we’re going to pay these guys. You pay too much, you go out of business. You don’t pay enough, you can’t bring in talent. First of all we need to know what the roster sizes are. In the 2020 campaign the league ran with a 52 man roster and I think thats about right. However the NFL has been operating at 53 for some time now, and because it’s a number I’m so used to using… let’s go with it.

photo credit: SI

I definitely like the tiered pay structure Oliver Luck rolled out for the league and I don’t think we should deviate from that. So let’s take a look at what I think is a fair scale that keeps the players well compensated and doesn’t break the owners at the same time. First and foremost I think an adequate salary Cap for each team in the First season is $25 Million. This number encompasses both the players and the coaches salaries. I’ve moved numbers around and did comparisons with other leagues and I believe I’ve come up with something that works. Using my scale the league should be able to pay the players and coaching staff at the allotted spot count for under the suggested amount while having a spoil of riches at the same time.

Coaching staffs:

PositionSalaryPositionSalary
Head Coach/GM500K-1M
Offensive Coordinator250K-300KDefensive Coordinator250K-300K
Quarterbacks Coach125K-150KInterior Line Coach125K-150K
Running Backs Coach125K-150KEdge Defender Coach125K-150K
Receivers Coach125K-150KLinebackers Coach125K-150K
Tight Ends Coach125K-150KCornerbacks Coach125K-150K
Offensive Line Coach125K-150KSafeties Coach125K-150K
Offensive Assistant Coach50K-75KDefensive Assistant Coach50K-75K
Special Teams Coordinator125K-150KSpecial Teams Assistant Coach50K-75K
Strength & Conditioning125K-150KQuality Control50K-75K
As you can see the numbers are consistent with what the AAF and XFL were paying last year and the year before. This sized staff on average should cost $3.2M.

Players:

Tier LevelRoster Slots Avail.SalaryYears SignedTotal
Franchise Player11.28M-1.92M41.6M
Tier 113640K-960M310.4M
Tier 213320K-480K35.2M
Tier 313160K-240K22.6M
Tier 41380K-120K11.3M
Each team gets 13 of each tier level contract and one Franchise player so the average comes out to be $21.1M for the 53 man roster.
photo credit: Football Logos

Pay will raise approximately 12.5% each year as expected with most businesses, however I’m sure you can see this is a good gauge to what should be the standard. Also this pay scale per player comes out be be identical with what the MLS is paying their players at 30 man rosters. I have no doubts that the league can lure a few players from the NFL and the NCAA each year providing a rate of pay like this. I believe on any given season they could probably end up getting about a dozen players that would probably be drafted as a rookie by the NFL and probably a couple dozen more 2 and 3 star players from college that are already contemplating jumping into the transfer portal. I also believe they could be able to snag one or two 4 and 5 star players per year that would quite frankly prefer not to be in school and might be freshmen or sophomores that are currently buried under the bench.

photo credit: HBCU Gameday

Keep in mind each team will also have to have a medical staff, front office staff, and a media relations staff to pay for as well. What comes with an office staff you ask? Well, an office. Last year the DC Defenders leased an entire floor in the high rent district of DuPont Circle in uptown DC that was, if I recall, about 10,000 square feet and required a three year lease. You also need to furnish these spaces. Between the front office staff, office space and set up, and operation costs for off the field marketing events and such we’re talking at least another five million per club. This is why having big capital and minority ownerships out the gate is so important.

photo credit: Bay News 9

GET AN AGREEMENT WITH THE NFL DONE ASAP

I wouldn’t go out of my way to call the league a developmental league for the NFL but I’m sure it’s inevitable that they would be. Like the CFL and College Football, the NFL basically cherry picks the best players they’d like to bring in and that’s that. For the XFL to have a strong business relationship I’d suggest that they create a deal with the NFL where if they want a player currently under contract in the XFL, they have to buy the player’s contract from the league at triple the price first. The player then becomes an NFL free agent and is free to sign to the team who wants him, or any other team for that matter.

photo credit: Sporting News

Triple the salary is nothing for the NFL to afford, and it can be done off the team’s salary cap as a cost of business operations. This would help both leagues in many ways. First it helps the XFL financially by getting a big return on losing a player. It would also help generate buzz for them because networks would talk about, write about, and report on the signings. With the XFL getting a boost in cash flow for the loss of said player, they would also be able to more easily replace him. The NFL benefits because they won’t have a major drop off in talent if a starter goes down knowing a simple transaction with a lower tiered league can quickly fill a void.

The NFL just needs to understand that the XFL isn’t aiming to put them out of business nor take business from them. It’s a tough ask, but with the right agreement in place I feel the two leagues can coexist and do business. The better off the XFL is, the better off the NFL will be.

photo credit: Sports Video Group

GET A PAID TELEVISION DEAL

Everything about the TV deal they had with Fox and Disney last year was great… except it didn’t pay them for the first three years. The networks agreed to pay the entire cost of game day production in exchange for sharing TV ad revenue. Games were on Fox, FS1, FS2, ESPN, ESPN2, and ABC. I’d like to think the league would prefer to hold on to those networks and possibly expand onto NBC, maybe more. They’d definitely help themselves by launching their own network which could pick up most of the games that aren’t aired on national TV. That way they could let the networks bid on what markets and matchups they’d prefer to air.

photo credit: Tampa Bay Times

For instance the NFC games are primarily on Fox and the AFC’s on CBS. NBC gets Sunday Night Football while ESPN gets Monday Night. All signs are pointing to Amazon Prime picking up the Thursday Night slate moving forward. No reason to believe the XFL shouldn’t get the same treatment to a lesser extent. In my rough draft calculations I believe the XFL will likely have about a 2 billion dollar a year operating cost if they magically decide to follow my model.

photo credit: Zibbet Marketplace

Taking that number into consideration, know that Disney just agreed to a 2.5 billion dollar deal per year for broadcasting rights through ESPN and ABC, and that’s just one of the networks. Each of the other four networks are also hovering around that 2 billion dollar neighborhood. If the XFL could get about 1/4 of that from those same networks they’ll be eating steak for breakfast in no time. They could also allow the networks to offer exclusive merchandise in the process, thus adding a little benefit to the bid.

photo credit: Comicbook.com

GO BIG OR GO HOME

No reason to think a lot of teams in the spring is too many. It may be unrealistic and grandiose as all hell but like college football, the more the merrier. I’m popping off with as many teams as you see below so do not adjust your screen. What you are looking at is in fact what I would launch with or work towards to say the least. 48 teams in all across six geographical divisions. We’ve got big markets, we’ve got smaller markets, we’ve got markets that are new to professional football, and we’ve got markets getting pro ball back for the first time in a while.

photo credit: CFL

As you saw from the roster sizes above, with four tiers of 13, one thing I’d do is make 25% of each team’s roster be compiled of local players. Trent Richardson in Birmingham, Dwayne Haskins in DC, James Wilder Jr in Tampa Bay, Johnny Football in Houston, etc. It’s important to keep local ties as well as provide work for hometown guys, as it would not only bring in fans from those schools, but also keep a greater pipeline of free agents available.

photo credit: CBS Sports

This is especially important in Canada where I would allow all the teams north of the 49th Parallel to have a nation wide pool since the game of football isn’t played in every region up there. That should satisfy the fans of teams coming in from the CFL, since the ratio rule would be done away with. This way those teams can still contain 25% Canadians. It’s not the 50% they’re used to but I think it’s a great compromise.

DivisionTeamStadiumCapacityMinority OwnersLeagueCoach
NORTHEAST
North
Boston MaraudersGillette Stadium20K +Mark Wahlberg
Dave Portnoy
AFLLarry Izzo
New York GuardiansRed Bull Arena25KJay Z
Red Bull GmbH
XFLKevin Gilbride
Montreal AllouettesSaputo Stadium19KS & S SportscoCFLKhari Jones
New Jersey GeneralsRed Bull Arena25KRed Bull GmbHUSFLTodd Bowles
South
Philadelphia StarsSubaru Park18KHall & OatesJay
Sugarman
USFLDuce Staley
Hartford ColonialsPratt & Whitney Stadium38KAnschutz Entertainment GroupUFLRay Horton
DC DefendersAudi Field30KTed Leonsis
Kevin Durant
Jason Levien
Steve Kaplan
XFLByron Leftwitch
Baltimore StallionsM & T Bank Stadium40K +Kevin PlankCFLJim Fassel
SOUTHEAST
North
Virginia DestroyersVirginia Beach Sportsplex17KPharrell Williams
Michael Vick
UFLMichael Vick
Birmingham IronProtective Stadium47KCharles BarkleyAAFTim Lewis
Atlanta LegendsCenter Park Stadium24KCee Lo GreenAAFChris Samuels
Tennessee ShowboatsNashville Fairgrounds Stadium30KJohn IngramUSFLJeff Fisher
South
Tampa Bay VipersRaymond James Stadium65KStuart SternbergXFLSteve Spurrier
Orlando ApollosExploria Stadium25K +Disney
Flavio da Silva
AAFHal Mumme
Jacksonville BullsTIAA Bank Field67KTony KhanUSFLMark Brunell
Miami SharksInter Miami CF Stadium18KPittbull
David Beckham
Simon Fuller
Marcelo Claure etc
WFLKen Dorsey
NORTH
North
Winnipeg Blue BombersIG Field30KWinnipeg Football ClubCFLMike O’Shea
Ottawa RedblacksTD Place24KOttawa Sports and Entertainment GroupCFLMarc Trestman
Toronto ArgonautsBMO Field30KMaple Leaf Sports EntertainmentCFLPinnball Clemons
Hamilton Tiger-CatsTim Horton’s Field23KBob YoungCFLOrlando Steinauer
South
Pittsburg MaulersHeinz Field68K +Ronald Burkle Mario LemieuxUSFLRuss Grimm
Michigan PanthersFord Field65K +Eminem
Apostolopoulos’
USFLPepper Johnson
Cleveland GladiatorsFirst Energy Stadium67KLeBron James Drew CareyAFLAlex Van Pelt
Chicago BlitzSoldier Field25K +Joe Mansueto
Brian Urlacher
USFLMike Singletary
SOUTH CENTRAL
North
Oklahoma OutlawsGaylord Memorial Stadium80KBlake SheltonUSFLBob Stoops
St. Louis BattlehawksThe Dome at America’s Center40K +Carolyn Kindle-Betz
Jim Kavanaugh
XFLJonathan Hayes
Nebraska NighthawksLincoln Memorial Stadium85KLane KiffinUFLTom Rathman
Dallas RenegadesToyota Stadium20KMark CubanXFLJim Jeffcoat
South
San Antonio CommandersAlamodome20K +Peter Holt
Tim Duncan
AAFMike Riley
Houston RoughnecksTDECU Stadium40KGabriel Brener
Oscar De La Hoya
Jake Silverstein
Ben Guill
XFLJune Jones
Texas(Austin) RevolutionQ2 Stadium20KRicky Williams
Matthew McConaughey
Anthony Precourt
Colin Kaepernick
FFLJerry Gray
New Orleans VooDooMecedes-Benz Superdome70KDrew BreesAFLEric Bieniemy
MIDWEST
North
Calgary StampedersMcMahon Stadium35KCalgary Sports and Entertainment GroupCFLDave Dickenson
Saskatchewan RoughridersMosaic Stadium33KSaskatchewan Roughrider Football Club IncCFLChris Jones
Boise ExpressAlbertsons Stadium36KJake Plummer
Geoff Schwartz
USFLKellen Moore
Edmonton Football TeamCommonwealth Stadium55KEE Football Team IncCFLJaime Elizondo
South
Arizona HotshotsSun Devil Stadium30K +Larry FitzgeraldAAFRick Neuheisel
Las Vegas PosseSam Boyd Stadium36K +Brett Lashbrook
Bryce Harper
CFLAnthony Calvillo
Salt Lake StallionsRio Tinto Stadium20KDel Loy Hansen
Ryan Smith
AAFDennis Erickson
Denver GoldDick’s Sporting Goods Park18KEd McCaffreyUSFLRob Ryan
PACIFIC
North
Seattle DragonsLumen Field37K +Russell Wilson
Adrian Hanauer
Sounders’ group
XFLJim Zorn
BC LionsBC Place22K +Ryan Reynolds
Greg Kerfoot
Steve Luczo
Jeff Mallett
Steve Nash
CFLNick Kaczur
Portland PowerProvidence Park25KRicky Williams
Merritt Paulson
Colin Kaepernick
FFLJoey Harrington
Sacramento Mountain LionsRailyards Stadium20KRon Burkle
Kevin Nagle
Matt Alvarez
UFLDeMeco Ryans
South
LA WildcatsBank of California Stadium22KSnoop Dogg
Larry Berg
Brandon Beck
Bennett Rosenthal
XFLWinston Moss
San Francisco DemonsLevi Stadium68KCharles B JohnsonXFL 1.0Teddy Bruschi
San Diego ThunderboltsSan Diego Stadium54K +John J FisherXFL 1.0Mike Martz
Oakland InvadersOakland Coliseum47K +Marshawn Lynch
Tom Hanks
USFLRod Woodson
No I am not smoking meth, however feel free to tell me how nuts I am though.
photo credit: Atlanta Journal

An 18 game season with each team getting a bye, plus a break for All Star Week should do the trick. Have each team play their divisional opponents twice and try to lean on geographical convenience for the rest of the schedule. A 16 team playoff is also pretty acceptable considering it’s only 1/3 of the league’s teams. Make sure to use the week leading up to the XFL Championship game to create a Radio Row atmosphere as well as remind everyone the right after the big game, the XFL Draft will be taking place in the next couple weeks to a month.

photo credit: American Football International

Let’s keep in mind that RedBird Capital is dabbling in soccer ownership over in Europe. I think if the league experiences substantial interest over seas they should consider playing some international games. To help matters, I would hire both Randy Ambrosie, the current commissioner of the CFL, and Roger Kelly of American Football International to help with relations globally. Both can be major assets to the league and are well respected around the world. Also, wouldn’t hurt to have them in house so the league can shorten the degrees of separation to the international talent out there as well as finding homes for players that don’t make the cut in the XFL.

photo credit: Daily Squib

That’s about all I can think of right now so feel free to drop a comments or several, letting me know how stupid I am. I’ve been hit harder by tougher people so your internet words won’t hurt me, I promise. I’ll be elaborating on this topic on my next show so feel free to subscribe here and maybe you can call me while we’re live so tell me shove it, while dozens and dozens are listening…

Photo Credit: PR Newswire

To Dwayne Johnson, Danny Garcia, and RedBird Capital: Here’s to the three of you… It’s A Football World, we’re all just passing through.

feature photo credit: AdWeek

5 thoughts on “How The XFL Can Dominate Spring Football Long Term

  • February 28, 2021 at 12:23 am
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    Dang John you really thought this out. I think 48 teams is unrealistic. Let’s get to 16 though, 8 is too small. And if they launch their own network they better hire you!!!

    • February 28, 2021 at 4:41 pm
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      Baby steps it is then!

  • February 28, 2021 at 3:08 pm
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    After reading this link article I feel more positive than I ever have about the XFL‘s return. So much anticipation and excitement just thinking about it. I love football❣️

  • February 28, 2021 at 5:38 pm
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    Very impressive roadmap of where the XFL could go from here. I know this is a football fan’s dream come true, so some of it is a “pie in the sky” fantasy. I do like the idea of buying the rights to some of these older leagues and bringing back some of these former teams in non-XFL markets. The media exposure and TV deals were a boost last year and will continue to be crucial for long term success. I love the XFL and can’t wait to see the Houston Roughnecks back on the field!

  • April 12, 2021 at 10:04 am
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    So long as the Wildcats are still alive, I will support any XFL future 😛

Comments are closed.