ST. LOUIS, Mo. – After being shut down by COVID-19 in 2020, and then declaring bankruptcy shortly thereafter, the XFL is coming back next year and has once again chosen St. Louis to host a team.
The St. Louis team will play at The Dome at America’s Center in downtown St. Louis, and will be led by Head Coach Anthony Becht. The league features seven other teams, located in Orlando, Las Vegas, Seattle, Washington D.C., San Antonio, Arlington and Houston.
Anthony Becht played college football at West Virginia and spent 11 seasons in the NFL after being selected in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft. The former tight end spent single seasons with both the Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams.
“I spent a year and a half in St. Louis as an NFL player and I’m telling you, it’s the greatest sports town in the world,” Becht told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I am so excited to get to St. Louis and interact with the fans, to have my players interact with the fans, and be a part of the community. We’ve got the most loyal fans out there, and I already know we’re going to have a great turnout at our games at The Dome. St. Louis fans, get ready and get loud because the XFL is coming back.”
The franchise also announced the hiring of Dave Boller, a former scout for the St. Louis Rams, as director of player personnel. Along with Boller, the St. Louis team announced the hiring of Nathaniel “Donnie” Abraham as defensive coordinator and Bruce Gradkowski as offensive coordinator.
During the league’s last run in 2020, when only five weeks of games were played, the St. Louis team mascot was the Battlehawks. It’s not clear if that team’s Battlehawks mascot will return to St. Louis, as team nicknames have not yet been announced for the XFL’s re-emergence.
Before the pandemic, the Battlehawks hosted two of the three highest-attended XFL games of the season, and were the most-attended team in the league. The team brought in well over 25,000 fans during both home games, and were set to open the upper seating for the third home game.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and business partners Dany Garcia and Redbird Capital Partners have taken the XFL reins from embattled former CEO of WWE Vince McMahon. Johnson and his partners reportedly purchased the XFL for $15 million just before it was scheduled to be bid on at a bankruptcy auction.
The football league recently announced a five-year broadcast deal with Disney and ESPN – a massive win for any new professional sports league trying to turn heads and turn a profit.
The XFL is set to return on Feb. 18, 2023 – less than a week after Super Bowl LVII is scheduled to take place – with games showing on ESPN, ABC and FX networks.
To learn more about the new version of the XFL, follow this link.