Ahead of its 2020 reboot, the XFL is rolling out its slate of facilities—featuring an interesting mix of current and former NFL stadiums. This means that the spring league will not only bring football to stadiums while they are dormant during the NFL offseason, but also represent the return of professional football to what were once NFL homes.
Backed by Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment, LLC, the XFL will launch in 2020 as a modern version of its infamous and short-lived predecessor. The league—which will be different on some levels than the 2001 version of XFL—will field teams in eight markets during its inaugural season, including Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Washington. Within that lineup will be several XFL teams at NFL stadiums, including some former and active venues.
Of those teams, three will play in active NFL stadiums: New York (MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ), Seattle (CenturyLink Field), and Tampa Bay (Raymond James Stadium). The Los Angeles-based squad will play at StubHub Center in suburban Carson, a facility that is currently used by the NFL’s Chargers. However, the team will have likely played its final home game there by the XFL’s arrival in early 2020, as the 2019 season will be its last before a new stadium opens in Inglewood.
In St. Louis, the team will play at The Dome at America’s Center (above)—a venue perhaps best remembered by NFL fans as the Edward Jones Dome or Trans World Dome. The Dome has been used for large events in recent years but has seemingly dropped off the professional sports radar since the NFL’s Rams played their final season there in 2015. If nothing else, the arrival of the XFL will give the Dome its first regular professional sports offering in years.
As far as exposure, it remains to be seen what effect the XFL will have on these stadiums. It is hard to tell if a combination of nostalgia and revamped product boosts the XFL, or if it will fall the way of its predecessor. It should also be noted that, with a 10-game regular-season schedule, many of these venues will see just a total of five home games.
Still, the presence of NFL stadiums is an interesting highlight among a fairly unique slate of venues. Other facilities being put to use for XFL action including Washington’s Audi Field—a soccer-specific stadium that opened this summer—Houston’s TDECU Stadium, and Globe Life Park, which will be home to the Dallas squad.
Located in nearby Arlington, Globe Life Park will be home to MLB’s Texas Rangers through the 2019 season, the club’s last before it moves into an adjacent retractable roof ballpark that is currently under construction. Most signs pointed to Globe Life Park being repurposed rather than demolished once the Rangers depart, and the XFL will give it at least one semi-regular use beyond MLB action.
Image courtesy The Dome at America’s Center.
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