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By the Numbers: XFL

22 Jan, 2020

By: Michael Popke
Everything You Need to Know About the Second Coming of the Next Try at an Alternative Football League

The re-inaugural season (or is it the second coming?) of the XFL— the renegade professional football league that lasted one season in 2001 and was presumed gone forever — kicks off the weekend of Feb. 8-9 with four games. XFL owner Vince McMahon, who founded the original XFL with the premise of providing a more carefree approach to the game than the NFL offered, announced the league’s return in late 2018. (In the old XFL, players wore nicknames on the back of their jerseys — remember running back Rod Smart’s “He Hate Me”? — and a no-fair-catch rule was in effect on punts.)

According to the XFL’s “About” page on Facebook the league’s 2020 version “will reimagine the game of football and leverage innovative technology to deliver a revolutionary fan experience.” Its motto is “less stall and more ball” — a swipe at the NFL, which has stretched its games to near the three-and-a-half-hour mark. The XFL plans on games lasting no longer than three hours each, thanks in part to a running clock and a shorter play clock than the NFL.

The inaugural season will feature eight teams competing during a 10-week regular season, with games on Saturdays, Sundays and two Thursdays in April. There will be two four-team divisions: XFL East and XFL West.

Following the regular season, the top two teams in each division will square off for the right to play for the league championship on Sunday, April 26, which will be televised by ESPN. The East Final is scheduled for Saturday, April 18, on FOX, and the West Final will be Sunday, April 19, on ESPN. The first-place team in each division will host its respective division final.

Here are 18 numbers to keep in mind as we head toward the opening kickoff in a game that will feature the Seattle Dragons at the DC Defenders on Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. (EST) on ABC.

  • 79: Number of days between the opening kickoff and the championship game
  • 43: Number of games scheduled (including 40 regular-season games, two playoff games and a championship game)
  • 43: Number of games that will be nationally televised (including 25 on ABC and FOX)
  • 8: Number of XFL teams competing in 2020
  • 5: Number of home games each team will host
  • 4: Number of teams in cities with an estimated 2018 population of 1 million or more (Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and New York)
  • 4: Number of teams in cities with an estimated 2018 population of fewer than 1 million (St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa and Washington, D.C.)
  • 1: Number of XFL cities that are not home to an NFL team (St. Louis)
  • 2: Number of current XFL cities that also hosted an XFL team during the old XFL’s only season in 2001 (Los Angeles and New York, which shared a team with New Jersey)
  • 53,346: Average capacity of the eight stadiums that will host XFL games
  • 82,500: Seating capacity at the largest venue (MetLife Stadium in New York City)
  • 20,000: Seating capacity at the smallest venue (Audi Field in Washington, D.C.)
  • 71: Number of rounds of the XFL player draft, held Oct. 15-16
  • 568: Number of players chosen in the draft
  • 1,000-plus: Number of players in the draft pool
  • 27,040: Maximum base season salary, in dollars, for an XFL player
  • 55,000: Total first-season earnings, in dollars, for an XFL player who is active for all 10 games and is on a team that finished with a 5-5 record (after bonuses)
  • 1: Number of drafted XFL players (former University of Tennessee standout and computer science major Corey Vereen) who dumped the league one week after the draft, citing low pay and concern he was “going to be taken advantage of.”
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