Saturday, December 3, 2022 Dec 3, 2022
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The Re-Rebooted XFL Is Building the Whole Operation Out of North Texas

How many regions get their own pro sports league?
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Bob Stoops is back to coach the Arlington Renegades. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports.

Remember the XFL? Yes, the semi-insane spring football league founded by ex-WWE chairman Vince MacMahon back in the ‘90s. Don’t tell me you forgot about He Hate Me.

Anyway, you may have memory-holed its attempted reboot in 2020, probably because it had the three-day-old-dumpster rotten luck of kicking off a month before the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, the league suspended operations and declared bankruptcy in a matter of eight weeks, which figured to be the end of the whole deal. Then Dwayne Johnson—as in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson—his business partner/ex-wife Dany Garcia, and a VC firm called RedBird Capital purchased the league hours before it was scheduled to hit auction, and voila, we are now approaching XFL 3.0.

I do not blame you for not being especially jazzed about this particular organization’s third attempt at monetizing pro football in the spring, a concept which has been attempted often and succeeded exactly never after Donald Trump sunk the USFL. But there is one interesting wrinkle to the whole thing: a huge amount of the league revolves around North Texas.

The most obvious example is the Arlington Renegades, formerly known as the Dallas Renegades in XFL 2.0. They’re coached by Bob Stoops, and if you’re wondering why one of the most successful college coaches of the last quarter-century would futz around with this, well, I’ve got you covered from when he was coaching the Renegades on their first go-around. (He’s the only returning head coach from 2020.) But all eight teams will use North Texas as their training hub, even as they’ll play games in locales from Seattle all the way to Orlando.

Here’s the Morning News’ Brad Townsend on that:

The Renegades and Houston Roughnecks, led by former Cowboys coach Wade Phillips, will train in Choctaw Stadium. The other six teams will pair up and train at Southlake Carroll’s Dragon Stadium, Mansfield’s Vernon Newsom Stadium and Justin’s Northwest ISD Stadium, then disperse to play games in their respective home cities.

Plenty of regions have pro sports teams. Not many have entire sports leagues. But once the season kicks off in February 2023, North Texas effectively will for however long—or short—this latest spring football attempt lasts.  


Mike Piellucci

Mike Piellucci

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Mike Piellucci is D Magazine's sports editor. He is a former staffer at The Athletic and VICE, and his freelance…

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