When the XFL suddenly suspended, well, everything, in 2020 due to the financial impact of COVID-19, the last team standing was the Houston Roughnecks. If you’ve been waiting for the Houston Texans to deliver a championship, nearly 20 years later the startup league filled your order.
Since then, a lot of crazy things have happened with the up & coming, often infamous league. Owner/Founder Vince McMahon, sold it to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his investment partners for a cool $15 million.
The Rock & partner Dany Garcia
The XFL represents the idea of ultimate opportunity; it’s a league of soul and culture, anchored by the pursuit of dreams and love for the game, that we couldn’t be more proud to lead. Every XFL player, coach, city and fan is our top priority and we couldn’t be more excited to champion them in an electrifying 2022 season.
Well, the best laid plans of rocks & men took an unexpected turn as the XFL and CFL entered talks of a partnership, which might have led to the creation of a joint league that could have rivaled the NFL.
The talks have several possible outcomes, expected by many in the know.
However, it was recently announced the two leagues would table their discussions for the time being.
Our talks with the XFL, exploring the potential for collaboration and innovation, have been positive and constructive. While we remain open to finding new ways to work together in the future, we and our XFL counterparts have jointly decided to not pursue any formal arrangements at this time.
The statement went on to confirm the CFL wil return to the field on August 5th, less than a month from now.
In response to this announcement, the XFL had this to say:
While our discussions with the CFL did not ultimately lead to a collaboration, the effort reinforced our belief and commitment to developing the XFL for international spring football. We look forward to seeing everyone for kickoff in spring of 2023.
UPDATE: @XFLRoughnecks logo battle with the #NFL.— Josh Davis (@davisjosh20) April 7, 2021
According to docs filed on 4/7, the 2 logos used for clothing have been abandoned "with prejudice", which could mean another app for the logos cannot be made.
The opposition has now moved to the electronic apps for the logos. pic.twitter.com/PGElvmComG
At the moment, you can still buy Houston Roughnecks oil rig branded merchandise, so if that’s your thing, you should act quickly before it’s no longer available.
If nothing else, you’ll own yet another piece of the trainwreck that is the legacy of Houston pro football fandom.
When the league returns in 2023, expect differences. International ones.
According to XFLnewshub.com the league is possibly placing a team in Mexico.
Futbol will always be king in Mexico, but the popularity of American football has soared there over the years, and the country has a growing number of fans for the sport, as evidenced by the success that the NFL has had staging games in Mexico. According to an article done by the LA Times in 2017, the NFL has a sizable market share of over 20 million people in Mexico. In 2019, The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers drew over 76,000 fans in Mexico City at Azteca Stadium. Many fans in attendance showed up wearing Chargers, Chiefs jerseys, and gear from other NFL teams they support.
The truth is that the XFL’s interest in talks with the CFL was primarily because of the value of the Canadian market and its big cities. The NFL also sees value in the Canadian marketand, in recent months, has entertained the possibility of returning to the country again in the future but this time staging yearly regular-season games.
The second major question about the XFL’s international plans in Canada is, what if a team or multiple teams in the CFL that have been bleeding money profusely the last few years decides to defect to the XFL and join their league?
It’s no secret that certain ownership groups within the CFL were catalysts for the XFL discussions and foresaw a potential partnership as a way to establish a healthier business model.