Could XFL venture into Chargers’ old stomping grounds?
By Travis Wakeman
If you missed the inaugural experiment known as the XFL, don’t feel bad. It was nearly two decades ago and lasted just one season. But what many deemed a complete failure is something that will be getting a second chance at success.
Recently, WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon announced that he will be reviving the league starting in 2020. That announcement brings forth a slew of questions, but one of the first has to be the cities in which the teams will play in.
Originally, the league had teams in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Memphis, Birmingham, Las Vegas, Orlando and Los Angeles. However, the Los Angeles Chargers shouldn’t have to worry about sharing their city with yet another professional sports team.
In 2001, the XFL did have a team in the City of Angels. The Las Angeles Xtreme played their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and actually won the first and only XFL championship. Jokes aside, that season resurrected the career of former first-round NFL draft pick Tommy Maddox, allowing him to be signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers where he enjoyed another five seasons of playing.
However, returning to Los Angeles wouldn’t be a smart business move this time around. In 2001, the NFL had no teams in L.A., now there are two. Both of those teams have a hard enough time selling out games, so why would another football team have any more success? In addition, McMahon has indicated that he wants this league to run games in the spring, where an L.A. team would have to compete against the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA.
If McMahon is smart (and he is), he avoids Los Angeles altogether, but he shouldn’t overlook the city that the Chargers abandoned.
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San Diego would be a perfect spot for an XFL team. The XFL is going to be anti-NFL in every way, so why not put a team in a market that the NFL left high and dry? With San Diego being the eighth-largest city in the United States, it makes zero sense not to at least consider the possibility.
Many fans in San Diego have likely sworn off the NFL due to the Chargers leaving after over five decades in the city. But many of those same fans could welcome a new professional football team with open arms.
The original XFL had a team called the Birmingham Bolts. Do not put it past McMahon to consider creating the San Diego Bolts. It’s how he does things.
Yes, the league could fall flat on its proverbial face again, but I wouldn’t bet against McMahon, especially when he has over two years to prepare for the launch of this thing.
Football returning to San Diego could very well be on his “to do” list.