Although Florida is chock-full of professional football teams as it is, with three NFL teams and a new spring league team coming to Orlando, Vince McMahon is determined to bring the XFL re-launch to Tampa.
McMahon, the World Wrestling Entertainment chairman who, according to Forbes, lost $70 million for the WWE and co-sponsor NBC during the short-lived league's last iteration, is going back to the art behind the X's and O's in 2020.
The home stadium location for Florida's latest XFL team was leaked over the weekend, when the Tampa Bay Timescontacted the number listed for the Tampa team, only to receive this recorded message: "Hello, this is XFL commissioner Oliver Luck. Thanks for calling XFL Tampa Bay. We're excited to call Raymond James Stadium home when the league launches in 2020, and we appreciate your support."
Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis, Seattle and Washington are also set to launch teams, though team logos, mascots and uniforms haven't been revealed.
An official announcement is set for this Wednesday.
We've reached out to the XFL for further comment on why the 2001 league's Orlando team, the Orlando Rage, won't be returning to the XFL's latest iteration, but haven't heard back yet.
According to the XFL's website, league plans include a 10-game regular season for each of the eight teams, with a two-round postseason consisting of two semifinal games and a championship game – a playoff system similar to that of the College Football Playoff committee.
The XFL 2.0 won't have a halftime, which, naturally, will shorten games. Players who have dealt with off-field issues, such as arrests for something as commonplace as a DUI, won't be allowed to participate. Nor will there be any leeway for athletes to express something like, say, an opinion, in that there will be no kneeling during the national anthem.
"As far as our league is concerned, it will have nothing to do with politics. Absolutely nothing," McMahon told reporters in a conference call last week, per a report from Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. "And nothing to do with social issues either."
He added: "We're there to play football. We want really good football and I think that's what fans want. When they tune in, I don't think they want to be dealing with political issues."
Long live the XFL ... Or, as McMahon so famously bellowed prior to the XFL's kickoff in 2001: "THIS! IS! THE XFL!"
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