It’s been a long wait for the return of the XFL, and we’re just now learning about the relaunch. It wasn’t too long ago that the new ownership group revealed a new logo along with their new brand message. Then, fans were treated by the names of all eight head coaches who will be joining in 2023.
Bob Stoops is the only head coach to return to his role, but was arguably the biggest name announced in 2020. Joining him is a mix of established names and coaches looking to move up in the ranks. As news of these names leaked, we also got some insight into where we may see the XFL place their franchises in 2023.
Let’s take a look at what we know, and don’t know, about where the XFL may play when they relaunch.
This one seems like a no-brainer. Bob Stoops is returning to the league, so it only seems natural that the Dallas Renegades should make a return. Additionally, league execs and coaches all met in Arlington recently to discuss the new season. Where? At the former home of the Renegades in 2020. Then, XFL co-owner Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson took to social media to announce that Texas would serve as HQ for the reboot.
They say; where there’s smoke there’s fire. And in this case, there’s a lot of smoke.
In 2020 the XFL opted to place the Vipers in Tampa Bay. This was mainly due to the AAF having already cemented Orlando as a spot for the Apollos. The AAF ultimately didn’t make it a full season, but the XFL was already settled. After the league folded in 2020 it was reported that they may be looking to move the Vipers due to poor attendance.
With the hiring of Terrell Buckley, we heard our first mention of the league heading to Orlando.
Terrell Buckley is expected to be hired as head coach of the Orlando XFL team, a source tells @on3sports.
Buckley, a former NFL star defensive back, was most recently a defensive backs coach at Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Louisville.https://t.co/k5bN5NhJoE
There’s no information yet on if the Orlando franchise will receive a new name or if it’ll be carried over from the 2001 or 2020 iteration.
Orlando has a rich history of hosting spring football leagues, and we think that this move is a good one for the new ownership group. Tampa Bay failed to pack the house for the XFL in 2020, Orlando could be the change they need to be successful.
In 2020 there was one team to beat, the Houston Roughnecks. After bankruptcy, trademarks for both of the Roughnecks logos were disputed and have ultimately went dead. Does this means the Roughnecks are no more, no but they would need to get a new design in place.
Another situation the new ownership group finds themselves in is the relaunched USFL currently planning on moving the Gamblers to Houston.
Texas is a big state, and it seems that the league may have a backup plan. When news first started making the rounds that Reggie Barlow would be joining the league, it was said that he was coming on as head coach of a new San Antonio franchise.
Multiple sources have told me that Reggie Barlow has resigned as #VSU (@VSU_Football) Head Football Coach! Has been at VSU since 2016 and won a @CIAAForLife Title in 2017. He went 34-16 at @VSUsports. Sources say he has accepted a job with the XFL.@CBS6
San Antonio is another city that’s seen their fair share of spring football leagues, and has been clamoring the bring another in. Will the XFL move Houston to San Antonio, or may we see three teams based out of the lone star state? It’s possible, especially when you add in the fact that TX is the HQ in 2023.
The next city on the list performed well for the XFL in 2020. The Seattle Dragons we’re among the leaders in attendance, trailing only to the St. Louis BattleHawks. If you were hoping to see the league return to the northwest, it seems that you may be in luck. Last week former Roughnecks head coach June Jones updated his Twitter bio, in which he stated that he was rejoining the XFL as offensive coordinator for Jim Haslett in Seattle.
This update alone gave us a lot of information. First, June Jones was making a comeback. Second, the XFL will return to Seattle and that Jim Haslett is the person tapped to get the job done.
The attendance factor alone should have made this an easy decision for the new ownership group. With June Jones heading to Seattle, this may also give further confirmation that the Roughnecks may not be returning in 2023. Although Seattle seems like it’s a go, we’ll need to wait until it’s official to learn if the Dragons moniker is coming back with it.
Unlike the previous locations, there’s no coach drop or insider news to go off of. But… we think it’s a no-brainer for the new XFL ownership group to try and make a return to St. Louis. In 2020 there was one city that fully embraced the XFL from the very start; St. Louis. This is mainly because they were the only location that didn’t also home an NFL franchise.
The BattleHawks were on target to bring in over 50,000 people to their week 7 matchup against the Los Angeles Wildcats. Unfortunately, due to COVID, week 7 never came. We’ve heard reports that St. Louis officials have reached out to the league and both parties have spoken. Beyond that, there’s not much to lean on. Should the XFL return to St. Louis? YES! Will they? We’ll just need to wait and see.
It’s also been rumored that the XFL may land in Las Vegas again, but there’s not much information circulating on that front. This could make for an interesting choice for the league. Back in 2001, The Las Vegas Outlaws hosted the first XFL game, with none other that current XFL co-owner The Rock coming out to kickoff the game. It would be a perfect opportunity for the league to capitalize off of nostalgia if they were to recreate that moment in 2023.
With the shakeup in cities, we’ve been told that new team names are coming as well. What hasn’t been specified is if the league is going to rebrand all eight teams or just the one relocating. We’ve heard rumors that we may see a mix of old and new, including some of the names from the 2001 iteration. Could we see a return of the Las Vegas Outlaws and Orlando Rage?
Near the end of 2021, The Rock said that new team names and cities would be announced early in the new year. We’re now five months in and we haven’t heard anything official. That being said, now that all head coaches have been revealed we expect that it should be dropping soon.
Where would you like to see the XFL relocate in 2023? Which cities should stay put? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.