As you must know by now, the XFL is returning. Just last week it was announced that the league would be acquired by a new business venture featuring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital. Although the deal won’t be finalized until August 21st, the debate has begun online whether the XFL should return in 2021 or take their time and target a 2022 kickoff.
The day the XFL sale was approved, former St. Louis BattleHawks Team President Kurt Hunzeker congratulated the new ownership group via Twitter. Hunzker also gave his thoughts on where the league should try a bubble and clearly that city was St. Louis.
2 – If a bubble tournament is in the plans, St. Louis should be the host: rabid, football-loving fan base … weather-controlled pro-quality facility … and did I mention a rabid, football-loving fan base?#ForTheLoveOfSTL
— Kurt Hunzeker (@khunzeker) August 7, 2020
If a 2021 return is in the books, the new owners are definitely eyeing the ‘bubble’ concept for the XFL. Let’s take an extended look at some key features near The Dome at America’s Center and go into why I think St. Louis would be the perfect city for the XFL to use for their ‘bubble’ as well.
In the area directly surrounding The Dome the eight XFL franchises would have access to:
- Missouri Athletic Club
- Convention center w/ Recreation/Lounge Restaurant Capabilities
- 1 Restaurant
- 2 Movie Theaters
- 5 Hotels
In this bubble concept the XFL and it’s teams will have plenty of space to practice and workout. There are 4 primary locations to do those activities. The first area is the Dome itself, on days without games there would be allocated practice times, then a 30-45 minute space to fix up the field and then the next team would practice, and continue that pattern till the end of the day. The second area is America’s Center. The convention center could be used for a number of things, especially with the amount of space available. The league could possibly put 8 weight rooms or split up those weight rooms in the Convention Space, YMCA, and Missouri Athletic Club buildings in the Bubble. The 3rd recreational space is the YMCA. They have basketball courts, pools, and more space for other activities. Finally, the Missouri Athletic Club. The MAC has more of those key recreational activities needed to keep players in shape mentioned above.
In America’s Center there is a theater that could be used to study game film. In fact, this bubble houses two more locations that can be used to do just that as well. Ferrara Theatre has 1,400 seats and the ability for coaches to present game film as well as lecture on what the team needs to improve on. The other site for game film is MX Movies & Bar, which has three movie theaters, a bar/kitchen and meeting rooms to hold coaches meetings and team meetings.
In this bubble concept there are five hotels, all with plenty of space for teams and coaches to stay in as well as media and TV crews from out of state. These hotels could be used for lounges as well if the league does not have enough room in the convention center/Athletic Club.
Lounge and Restaurants
If the XFL does a bubble in Saint Louis there are a few restaurants in this concept. First off, there is Sauce on The Side. Sauce on the Side is a Calzone shop that also serves a selection of sauces that is designated to a meal. For example, if a player orders something called “Duke” they will get BBQ Ranch sauce with their meal.
The Missouri Athletic Club also has room for a Lounge and restaurant to accommodate the XFL personnel and players.
Not to mention, if necessary the convention center can set up a lounge and/or restaurant. The Lounge and Restaurant possibilities are endless, especially with the five hotels in the vicinity. Combined, these accommodations should be more than enough.
Saint Louis would be a perfect bubble, especially if the league kicks off in the summer. The Dome being weather controlled is a huge advantage compared to any other Stadium in the XFL. The opportunity might be too good for the new XFL owners to pass up!
Do you agree, if the XFL returns in a ‘bubble’ do you think St. Louis is a good host? If not, which location do you think would work better? Let is know down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.