Wrestling magnate Vince McMahon announced that he is bringing the XFL back to professional football to begin playing by 2020. So far we have some general information about the plan, but there is still a lot to be realized.
So, here are some of the most important points we know about the new XFL so far, according to The Comeback.
First of all, McMahon insisted that politics will be left in the locker room and won’t be allowed on the field with his re-born football league. He also said that no one would be allowed to protest during the playing of the national anthem.
“People don’t want social and political issues coming into play when they are trying to be entertained,” McMahon said on Thursday. “We want someone who wants to take a knee to do their version of that on their personal time.”
No National Felon’s League
McMahon pointedly noted that he will not be hiring anyone with a criminal record. During his press conference, the businessman said, “if you have any sort of criminal record or commit a crime you aren’t playing in this league.”
No Dull Games
The pace of XFL games will be faster, McMahon insisted. Games will last no more than two hours, and he also promised to have fewer commercial breaks. He may even do away with the traditional halftime break.
McMahon is looking to start out with only eight teams that will play a ten-week season. After the regular season, four teams will head to the XFL’s playoffs. He also hopes to have his teams in large and medium-sized markets.
Since he will be the sole source of funding, McMahon promises that the XFL will not suffer the squabbling between league officials, team owners, and the players. McMahon says he holds all the cards and will make all the decisions.
As The Comeback reminds readers, the original XFL pioneered the skycam angle of broadcasting the game, so it is likely that McMahon will look for exciting new angles to show the action on the field. He will also likely look for more ways than just television to distribute the games such as streaming and mobile outlets.
There will be no WWE wrestling tie-ins with the new XFL. McMahon intends for the new league to stand on its own.
With all that being said, there are still a lot of unanswered questions that McMahon will have to settle going forward. Who will broadcast these games? Where will the players come from? Will teams have putative owners or sponsors of some kind or will he own every single team? Will McMahon partner with sponsors to grow his initial $100 million investment?
On the latter, one hundred million may seem like a lot of cash, but it would be spent up awfully quickly for a project this big. Just for context, every NFL team is estimated as being worth one billion dollars or more each. Many are worth north of $2 billion. Without a doubt, more money is going to have to come from somewhere for McMahon’s new league and with that money comes strings that could alter McMahon’s initial concept.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.