The XFL returns to the gridiron in 2023: Here’s what you should know

The XFL will return in 2023 after a two-year hiatus. This will be the third attempt for the spring football league, and it puts it head-to-head with the United States Football League, which finished its first campaign in 2022.

The re-launched XFL will have a famous name backing it as former WWE superstar and film megastar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will take charge of the league, as one of its new owners. Johnson will be joined by ex-wife and business partner, Danny Garcia, and Gerry Cardinale of RedBird Capital.

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Garcia’s part of the ownership group will make the XFL different from any football league previously. No previous or current football league has a woman as part of the ownership group. Garcia will have her signature on the football teams will use during the 2023 XFL season.

The new XFL will feature eight football franchises across the United States. The league was criticized previously for having too many teams in cities already home to NFL franchises. However, it was argued that those cities were strong football locations and could support an additional team to play in the NFL’s offseason.

The eight teams for the XFL’s third go-round are the Arlington Renegades, St Louis Battlehawks, DC Defenders, Houston Roughnecks, Orlando Guardians, Seattle Sea Dragons, Vegas Vipers, and San Antonio Brahmas. The XFL had eight times for the 2020 season, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league finished just weeks into the campaign. The XFL received strong TV ratings and was praised for its product. But the pandemic stopped the season and prevented the XFL from returning.

The league won’t return to Los Angeles, Tampa Bay, or the New York region for the new season. San Antonio, Orlando, and Las Vegas will receive teams for the new campaign.

Interestingly, the USFL’s Tampa Bay franchise won’t return for the 2023 season. The Tampa Bay Bandits decided to relocate to Memphis, and will lead to the re-launch of the Showboats for the next campaign.

The USFL was treated solely as a television product in 2022. The league held all of its games in Birmingham, Alabama. The reason for the league’s decision to remain in the same location for games was to reduce expenses. The USFL’s first season was broadcast by Fox and NBC.

The XFL’s 2023 season will be broadcast by the ESPN network. The network and football league entered into a contract until 2027, giving fans hope the XFL will be around for some time. It could finally fulfil its potential as the NFL’s feeder league.

The XFL regular season will begin on February 18, 2023, just one week after the NFL holds the Super Bowl. A player combine took place on June 18, 2022, ahead of the 2023 XFL Draft on November 15, 16, and 17. Teams will hold preseason training camps beginning on January 8, 2023.

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