STAMFORD, Conn. (Heartland Newsfeed) — World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) chairman Vince McMahon is stating that he plans to spend $500 million over the first three seasons of the revived XFL.
McMahon announced the return of the XFL on January 25 that he was planning to revive the league with a target relaunch date in 2020.
The first incarnation of the league started in 1999 with their only live broadcast season being in 2001 as a joint venture between WWE (then WWF) and NBC at the cost of $100 million.
The eight-team league had their games broadcast by NBC as the primary broadcaster with simulcasts on TNN (which eventually became Spike, now The Paramount Network) and UPN (now defunct and replaced by The CW — formerly the WB — and MyNetworkTV).
Ratings were high on their debut broadcast, which included elements of sports entertainment and featured commentary from WWF personalities, sports broadcasters and football veterans and went downhill due to a dispute with Saturday Night Live executive producer Lorne Michaels, especially regarding a game entering double overtime which was set to knock SNL‘s broadcast behind schedule.
In their own broadcast season in 2001, the joint effort between WWF and NBC lost $35 million on their investment of $100 million. Their only champion was the Los Angeles Xtreme.
The league revival, spearheaded by McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment, a company separate from WWE. The expected slate of eight teams are set to be announced in 2019.
The XFL’s league commissioner and CEO is Oliver Luck, who was appointed to his position last month. Luck, whose expertise is in sports, is a former regulator for the NCAA and former director of intercollegiate athletics for West Virginia University.
Luck is no stranger to football or futbol, which is more commonly known as soccer. He was a star quarterback at West Virginia who played five years for the former Houston Oilers from 1982 until 1986. His son Andrew has been the quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts since 2012, but missed the 2017-18 season due to injury.
Luck was also the first president and general manager for Houston’s own Major League Soccer franchise, the Dynamo, which won back-to-back MLS Cup championships in 2006 and 2007 under Dominic Kinnear.
Upon announcement of his intent to revive the league, McMahon sold $100 million of his stake in WWE.
Luck said in an interview with ESPN that their largest expense will be for the league’s coaches and players, with the average salary being $75,000.
The inaugural relaunch season will have a ten-game schedule for the 2020 season, which is slated to begin in either January or February.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.
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