Which Cities are ready for XFL football?
The upstart XFL 2.0 has been a consistent draw through Week 4 with viewership still averaging over 1 million per game. And while there will be some concerns about the consistent fall in numbers, this was to be expected due to the NFL Combine. Thankfully for Oliver Luck’s league, the figures still outweighed some competitors last weekend.
XFL Saturday Network Ratings Comparisons 2/29
XFL on Fox: 1.802 million viewers
XFL on ABC: 1.558 million viewers
NBA on ABC: 2.3 million viewers
NCAA on CBS: 1.9 million viewers
PGA on NBC: 1.7 million viewers
NCAA on Fox: 681k
MLS on Fox: 756k
NFL Combine on ABC: 976k
— Mike Mitchell (@MMXFLWriter) March 3, 2020
Regardless, there should be some concern over the low attendance figures in some cities. While St. Louis is looking to expand to the upper deck due to a shortage of tickets, the likes of the Los Angeles Wildcats and New York Guardians are comparatively struggling to draw crowds.
Yes, the league is still young and teams are still finding their fanbases, but if the buzz of a new league wasn’t enough to draw crowds initially, then the poor play by both sides so far won’t help boost their chances moving forward.
With this in mind, there are a few cities that may well prove to be a better fit in the long run.
That’s right, the long time home of the Chargers is, as we all know, currently without a team. And while their own attendance figures may force them to consider a return in the coming years, until then the city could be a good home for an XFL franchise, either existing or as an expansion.
Phillip Rivers’ former stomping ground of course already has a history of hosting a secondary league team, after the AAF’s San Diego Fleet briefly camped out at SDCCU Stadium in 2019. In fact, back in January Luck admitted that the existence of the Fleet had a part to play in the XFL not picking San Diego originally: “When we chose our cities in December of 2018, obviously the other league, the Alliance, was around. As you could tell from the cities we selected, we did not select any (AAF) markets. For us, it was a question of die-hard fans and good markets, good stadiums.”
The XFL and San Antonio officials did discuss the potential of a team in the city but according to KTSA, they were unable to come to an agreement in time, with the AAF stepping in first.
While the city has never had an NFL team to call its own, but if the AAF accomplished anything it is that it showed the city could certainly host a professional football team. The Alamodome was by far one of the best arenas in the Alliance, while it averaged a league-high 27,721 attendance before the league folded.
With the black-hole now controversially unoccupied, what better place to have a team than a city with a fanbase as big and storied as Oakland’s? While the Coliseum is hardly an ideal ground in terms of design, the backing from the public would be huge and the passion of said fans has been clear to see for decades. Perhaps this would be an appropriate landing spot for the black uniforms of the Guardians should their attendance not improve.
REPRESENTING BRITS IN THE US, ANTHONY WILL BE WRITING FOR THE TOUCHDOWN FROM HIS NEW HOME IN TEXAS. WHERE HE ALSO WRITES AND PODCASTS FOR THE TEXANS WIRE. FOLLOW HIM @ARWOODNFL ON TWITTER.
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