Vegas, Orlando, San Antonio to join XFL in 23

  • ESPN.com national NFL writer
  • ESPN.com NFC North reporter, 2008-2013
  • Covered Vikings for Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1999-2008

The XFL’s 2023 local markets will include five holdover cities and three new locations, the league announced Sunday night.

The three newcomers — Las Vegas, Orlando and San Antonio — will join Arlington, Texas; Houston; St. Louis; Seattle; and Washington, D.C. The league dropped New York, Los Angeles and Tampa Bay from its lineup; those markets had the three lowest average attendance figures during the 2020 season, when the XFL last played.

In total, the XFL will have three teams in Texas. According to industry sources, the league has held internal conversations about centralizing weekday practices in the Dallas area for all eight teams. Players and coaches would then travel to local markets for games.

The league also confirmed two other important steps in its return to the field: game venues for seven of its eight teams and team coaching assignments. The XFL announced the head coaches’ hiring in April but did not specify their teams at that time.

The pairings are as follows:

  • Arlington, Texas: Choctaw Stadium, coach Bob Stoops

  • Houston: TDECU Stadium, coach Wade Phillips

  • Orlando: Camping World Stadium, coach Terrell Buckley

  • Las Vegas: TBA stadium, coach Rod Woodson

  • San Antonio: The Alamodome, coach Hines Ward

  • Seattle: Lumen Field, coach Jim Haslett

  • St. Louis: The Dome, coach Anthony Becht

  • Washington D.C.: Audi Field, coach Reggie Barlow

Allegiant Stadium is a possibility for the Las Vegas team.

In a statement, XFL owner/chairwoman Dany Garcia said in part: “What brings a league to life is the passion of the fandom behind it. In each of these cities we will co-create with our fans and build these teams from the ground up so that they represent the unique fabric of our communities.”

The league did not announce names or branding for the individual teams, but owner Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson said in a statement: “We have been working on cool, new logos and innovative uniforms that match the dynamic and innovative vision of our league.”

The XFL’s 2020 season was cut short after five weeks by the COVID-19 pandemic. It subsequently was sold via bankruptcy court to an ownership group of Garcia, Johnson and RedBird Capital Partners.

On Sunday, the league wrapped up a series of six player showcases around the country. The events served as regional combines to help assemble personnel evaluations in advance of roster formation this fall.

The XFL’s first game is scheduled for Feb. 18, 2023. All 43 regular-season and playoff games will be televised and/or streamed Disney platforms.

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