The XFL has new ownership and a new plan: Football in 2022.
League co-owner Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson announced Thursday that the spring professional league will be back after a one-year hiatus.
“As owners, we’re proud to champion our XFL players, coaches, cities and fans into an electrifying 2022 season!” Johnson said on Twitterer. “It’s an uphill battle — but we’re hungry, humble and no one will outwork us. A league of culture, passion & purpose.”
The XFL hasn’t identified where its teams will play. However, the video attached to Johnson’s tweet shows images of New York and Washington when mentioning the term “cities.”
At the box office, the XFL performed best in Seattle and St. Louis. On TV, the XFL started strong and gradually declined. The pandemic prevented an apples-to-apples ratings comparison between the XFL and the NCAA basketball tournament.
Still, as most states legalize betting on sports, the demand will increase for sports on which to bet. By 2022, more states inevitably will allow wagering on football and other sports. The more states that embrace, the more interest there will be in games into which the viewer can place some skin.
So, yes, the XFL can work. It had created real buzz, and it was building a strong following. The involvement of someone like The Rock, a hugely popular figure in the American cultural landscape, only makes it more likely that it will indeed succeed.
Success of spring football continue to be a relative term, however. Most football fans currently don’t want football in the spring. The best option for an NFL supplement continues to be, in our view, Tuesday and Wednesday nights during football season.