Might not be news, but two months after Vince McMahon announced a reboot of the XFL in 2020, a group led by Charlie Ebersol, son of Vince's partner the first time around the XFL, Dick Ebersol, announced they would be starting a league in Feb. 2019. Undercutting McMahon. About a month away from kickoff.
They said they needed 4 things
1. Available players
2. Legitimacy as "real" football
3. TV contracts
4. Football starved cities
1,3, and 4 are in place. 2 is TBD.
The 8 team league consists of:
Atlanta Legends (city who doesn't even care about the Falcons)
Birmingham Iron (awesome name)
Arizona Hot Shots (Phoenix)
Salt Lake Stallions (logo looks like a 21st century take on the Baltimore Stallions)
San Diego Fleet (another awesome name)
San Antonio Commanders
They will air games on CBS and CBSSN on Saturdays and Sundays with the respective networks announcers crew. For example the CBS game in week 1 will have the NFL duo of Spero Dedes and Trent Green. Crews for the CBSSN games will be less prominent names.
Some big names in the mix, Mike Martz, Dennis Erickson, Steve Spurrier, Mike Singletary are head coaches. Michael Vick is an offensive coordinator for Atlanta. Lamont Jordan is a RBs coach. Christian Hackenberg might be the leagues biggest name as far as players go, but Josh Woodrum is QB for Salt Lake City if you're looking for a Raven to root for.
Bill Polian is Ebersol's right hand man for the venture and they said they don't wish to compete with the NFL, but to supplement and cooperate with them. Sounds like this will be a developmental league for the 1200 or so players that get cut from NFL teams at the conclusion of training camps.
The rush job to put this together one year before Vince does his league might not matter if they are admittedly going to be a developmental product. Vince on the other hand, no doubt will look to compete with the shield.
The AAF rules will be different: God I hope as a developmental league, the NFL doesn't adopt them. Except maybe the play clock and tv timeouts.
Kickoffs and PATs don't exist. Go for two every time. Drives all start on the 25 like a touchback. Onside kick is one down from your own 35 and you have to gain ten yards to keep the ball.
League hopes to shave real time down to 150 minutes by having zero tv timeouts.
30 second play clock rather than the NFLs 40.
Only replays are two coaches challenges, and anything inside two minutes is automatic. So no auto challenge on scores and turnovers.
Lastly, players will receive a non-guaranteed three year contract worth $250K with escalators for performance and community interaction. Also an escape clause if they were to be approached by an NFL team, allowing them to go pro. However, no escape to an XFL team. Here is where beating Vince to the punch, signing the best of the rest, effects the XFL. If they are locked into a three year contract, they cant go to the XFL until 2022....if it even exists by then.
On the other hand, it's an 8 team league...400 players. The NFL cuts 1200. Plenty more for the XFL to scoop up. Plus the players that become available between now and September 2019, while the AAF has mostly full rosters, the XFL will get the same pick of the litter.
AAF has a mobile app, and fantasy league to keep fans engaged. Said the most expensive tickets would be $35 for sidelines and cheaper than usual food at concessions to entice fan attendance.