The XFL didn’t give devoted football fans any time to miss the sport. With the Super Bowl ending the NFL season two and a half weeks ago, the XFL—an acronym for Extreme Football League—began its season last weekend, playing games on both Saturday and Sunday.
Following a similar model in the NFL, the XFL will also hold games on Thursday nights. All of the league’s games will be broadcast by either ESPN, ABC, FX, or ESPN Deportes.
Vince McMahon of WWE fame founded the XFL in 2001, but it lasted just one season. In 2018, McMahon restarted the league with 2020 as its launch, but after only five weeks into the season, the league was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Actor and entrepreneur Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who played college football for the University of Miami and gained famed as a WWE wrestling star, partnered with a consortium that includes Gerry Cardinale, founder and managing partner of private investment firm RedBird Capital Partners, along with Johnson’s ex-wife and current business partner Dany Garciato, purchase the XFL from McMahon for $15 million in 2020.
“An incredible weekend for our XFL opening,” wrote Johnson on his social media page. He made personal appearances at the game in Arlington on Saturday afternoon where the Renegades took on the Vegas Vipers and later in Houston on Saturday night to watch the home Roughnecks host the Orlando Guardians.
“Atmosphere was electric at every stadium,” noted Johnson. “Humbling experience all weekend that I will never forget.”
The XFL’s eight franchises are divided into North and South divisions. North consists of teams in St. Louis, Seattle, Las Vegas, and Washington, D.C. South has three teams in Texas cities—Arlington, Houston, and San Antonio—and one in Orlando, Florida.
Coaches and players who have played and or coached at the NFL, Canadian Football League, and college levels comprise the franchises.
The XFL season goes through May. Each team will play a 10-game regular season—five games at home and five away. The top two teams from each division will make the playoffs. The championship game will be held at the Alamodome in San Antonio.