If Week 1 of this XFL season is any indication of what the newly reformed league is going to look like, the XFL may seriously think about expanding in a year or two. It seems the early interest is there and that could lead to strong viewing stats and attendance numbers.
At least one of the teams has brought football back to a city that lost its NFL team, with some serious interest already shown. So which other cities might benefit from XFL expansion teams in 2021 and beyond?
Is XFL expansion possible?
Unlike the first go-around, the 2020 XFL clearly has a better game plan than the league did back in 2001. They are better structured, they have more money to invest in the league, and most importantly, they have better players than they did 20 years ago.
They are also drawing early interest from fans in bigger numbers, which is huge.
Next weekend (Feb. 23) will be the first time the St. Louis Battlehawks will play in front of their hometown fans – and already they are expecting a crowd of nearly 30,000 people to attend the game.
The interest is definitely there this time around for the XFL. Now diehard followers want to know if the league will expand to 10 teams any time soon?
The NFL – XFL connection
The pipeline that could be formed between the NFL and XFL is going to play a big part in the success of the XFL.
The XFL not only serves up great football for fans, but also creates a way for college players, former NFL stars, and even walk-ons to keep active in the game, show off their talents, and possibly get a second shot at the NFL.
For that reason alone, expanding the league to 10 or 12 teams down the road could be good for the game, players, and owners’ pocketbooks.
After all, when you are talking about something like an expansion, two things are key.
First, does the expansion city have the ability to attract a fan base? Second, does it appear that it could turn a profit for the city, team, and league?
Four XFL expansion teams for the future
Here is a list of four cities that should get serious consideration from the XFL if and when they decide to expand – with the top two being can’t miss destinations!
4. Las Vegas, Nevada — They proved in 2001 that they have diehard sports fans. Now, with the NHL in town and the Las Vegas Raiders making their debut in 2020, adding an XFL team would be a smart move.
3. Chicago, Illinois — Like three others on this list, Chicago was an XFL original with the Enforcers. The Windy City gets behind their sports teams including the NFL’s Chicago Bears. Adding an XFL team would draw a crowd and give the city a second football team competing for the glory of a championship.
2. Lincoln/Omaha, Nebraska — This would be huge. With only the Cornhuskers to speak of, an XFL team would be welcomed with open arms. Nebraska has no MLB, NBA, NHL or NFL team to boast about so why not add an XFL team? The fans are passionate about their football in Big Red country and the same would happen if the XFL invaded. It could also attract Cornhuskers stars to become part of a roster that would attract area viewers.
1. Detroit, Michigan — Like Nebraska, this is a can’t miss for the XFL. Fans in Detroit packed the stadium for Arena Football and were passionate about the USFL back in the 1980s. When the Michigan Panthers won the USFL title in 1983, the city celebrated like it was a Super Bowl win. The Lions have filed to host a postseason game in decades, yet 60,000-plus come out every week. The XFL could certainly succeed in Motown.
For now, the XFL 2020 season will rely on eight teams to generate enough interest moving forward. However, one has to think that if that interest stays strong through Week 10 and the playoffs, other cities may start contemplating the possibility of having their own XFL franchise.