We now know the teams that will compete in the rebooted XFL, which will kick off its 10-week season on Feb. 8, just a week after Super Bowl LIV.
Here are the eight teams, announced Wednesday afternoon by XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck, ESPN’s Laura Rutledge, and FS1 host Colin Cowherd:
So why were Rutledge and Cowherd on hand to announce the new team names? Probably because the XFL has multi-year deals in place with both ESPN and FOX Sports to televise next season’s games, which will air on FOX and ABC every weekend. ESPN, ESPN2, and FS1 will also air games throughout the season, and the league’s championship is scheduled to broadcast on ESPN on April 26.
So far, just one player has signed a contract to play in the XFL: former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and former University of Oklahoma standout Landry Jones. The league is expected to announce more signings as NFL teams begin to cut their offseason rosters to 53 players.
The XFL played one season in 2001, when it debuted to strong television ratings but eventually fizzled out thanks to a gimmicks-first approach that didn’t appeal to football fans. Just like this go-around, the league awarded franchises to eight cities, but included non-NFL towns such as Birmingham, Orlando, and Las Vegas.
The XFL also will attempt to avoid the fate of the defunct Alliance of American Football, which ended abruptly before it completed its inaugural season earlier this year, firing staff and forcing players who were on the road to pay for their own transportation home. WWE chairman Vince McMahon is heavily invested in the XFL’s relaunch, and is expected to spend upwards of $500 million during the league’s first three seasons, according to ESPN.