With the XFL set for a second attempt at completing a season in 2021, there has been plenty of talk of one or two new teams entering the sport. Which cities could be in line for a new XFL franchise?
Where Could the XFL expand to?
Of course the city of Chicago already has a professional football team thanks to the Chicago Bears of the NFL. They also had a team in the original XFL, but averaged just over 15,000 fans per game and failed to attract enough attention.
That fact alone might help us to see why they weren’t involved as one of the 8 founding members of the rebooted XFL, but the Windy City certainly offers up a potential expansion option.
The market for football has massively grown in Chicago since then. Chicago presents the third highest populated city in the USA and therefore an incredibly high media market for the XFL to try and break into. With the hype around the XFL this time around, it definitely seems worth another shot.
The city of Boston has a massive footballing market thanks to the New England Patriots of the NFL. According go the Nielsen market size, Boston has the ninth highest TV market in the USA and so would present a great opportunity for expansion.
It would also allow the less affluent Bostonians to take in live football at a stadium, which is something they would struggle to do with the Patriots. According to TicketIQ (via NBC), the Patriots have the highest season ticket prices in the NFL by quite some distance.
It will cost you $777 to buy a Pats season ticket on the secondary market, $267 higher than the second most expensive, which is the aforementioned Chicago Bears.
As for the issue of where they would play, Gillette Stadium would be the obvious choice but given that it’s pretty inaccessible for residents of downtown Boston, even with normal traffic, it could be tough.
Personally, if Boston are awarded an XFL franchise, I would like to see the new team follow in the footsteps of the Dallas Renegades and play in a baseball stadium. Imagine football games being played at Fenway…
The city of Las Vegas has seen a bit of a spike in their sporting involvement lately, adding an expansion franchise to the NHL two years ago and now welcoming the Raiders to the city from Oakland. While they’re at it, why not add an XFL franchise too?
There’s clearly an appetite for live sports and, in particular, professional football in the city. Add to that the fact that any potential expansion team would likely be able to stadium-share with the Raiders in their brand spanking new Allegiant Stadium and we could be on to a winner with this one.
Las Vegas was part of the old school XFL as the Las Vegas Outlaws brought football to the city. Their attendance was good at the start, proving the point that the city has an appetite for football. Unfortunately, the team was terrible and attendances started to dwindle.
Back then, the population of LV and the surrounding areas was somewhere in the region of 1.3 million people. Nowadays, that population has surpassed 2 million and, as proved by the Raiders relocation, the city still has that appetite for the game.
People are most definitely going to want to go the Allegiant Stadium, but may be put off by the high prices it will cost them to see the Raiders play. An XFL franchise would allow them to visit the stadium, see live football in person and not have to sell an organ to fund it. Sounds a win/win to me.
Alongside Chicago, Atlanta was one of the teams that XFL reporter Danny Jones mentioned was at the top of the list of potential expansion cities back in February.
Atlanta were not a part of the original XFL but have a solid history of football in the city, with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons one of the best supported teams in the whole league.
The brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium built by owner Arthur Blank is frankly incredible and already plays host to the Falcons as well as Atlanta United of the MLS – how about adding an XFL franchise to that list too?
Atlanta is the 36th highest populated city in the United States with a little over half a million people located there according to the United States census bureau. There is a market there, but perhaps not as big as you would think.
Where else could we see an XFL Expansion?
Personally, I think the XFL should take an expansion team to a city wherein there isn’t already a pro football team. The St Louis Battlehawks garnered a lot of support in the 2020 season having been without a team since the Rams moved back to LA in 2016.
My suggestion would be San Antonio, TX. It’s the sixth highest populated city in the United States and was a founding member of the failed AAF back in early 2019.
They were pretty much the only team in the AAF who managed to garner any kind of support in their failed first season. They managed attendances of a similar ilk to that of the best supported XFL franchises in the Seattle Dragons and St Louis Battlehawks.
There is a clear appetite for professional football in the city and, honestly, I’d say the XFL are silly not if they aren’t seriously considering San Antonio as an option.