The XFL is coming back, but not quite yet.
WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon just announced he is re-launching the XFL. McMahon’s first attempt to establish the league was a failure, as it folded after just one season of play in 2001.
The new XFL will kick off in early 2020, according to Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand. It will feature eight teams of 40-man rosters and a 10-game schedule. Four teams will make the playoffs.
No host cities have been named.
The original league launched one year after the official announcement. This one is taking two years to get off the ground.
Speaking with Ourand, McMahon outlined his reasons for taking things slower this time around.
“We didn’t give ourselves enough time to put together [teams that could] actually play good football,” he said. “This is 2020. We’ve got time to draft good players and be able to put really good football on the field. That’s the biggest thing that’s going to be a difference.”
McMahon said the XFL will not compete with the NFL for players, but will target ones who just miss catching on with an NFL team.
“The difference between making it in the NFL and not is slight,” McMahon said. “You can’t measure heart and things of that nature. You’re going to have some great athletes.”
If this is the route McMahon and the league are going, the rosters will largely consist of also-rans, NFL castoffs and guys trying to get back into the league. Not sure if that’s the way to appeal to fans.
There’s a lot more to be figured out over the next two years as well.
One thing is certain. If Vince McMahon is involved, it will be interesting to follow how everything unfolds.