Ed Bailey / AP
Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 | 1:19 p.m.
Dust off those old Las Vegas Outlaws jerseys. The XFL is back.
WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon announced today in New York that he was reintroducing the football league he originally founded in 2001. The XFL will return in 2020.
“The XFL is an exciting opportunity to reimagine America’s favorite sport,” McMahon said in a news release. “As we move towards kickoff, we look forward to listening and implementing innovative ideas from players, coaches, medical experts, technology executives, the media and most importantly football fans.”
The league will be set up identically to its initial run, with eight teams playing a 10-game regular season culminating with a four-team playoff. No cities are confirmed to house a team, but the league said the selection would take place over the next few months with both major and mid-major markets represented.
Las Vegas hosted the inaugural XFL game on Feb. 3, 2001, when the Outlaws shut out the New York/New Jersey Hitmen 19-0. Las Vegas ultimately finished 4-6 on the year, missing the playoffs where the Los Angeles Xtreme won the championship.
The league is better remembered, however, for its quirky nature that included professional wrestling tie-ins, scantily-clad cheerleaders and using a “scramble” where two players tried to recover a loose ball at midfield instead of a kickoff. McMahon said those elements would not return.
A new focus will be placed on “quicker, shorter” action with games supposed to last about two hours. Rosters will include approximately 40 players, with the salary structure not yet determined.
McMahon is the sole owner, having funded the reboot through his Alpha Entertainment company. The original XFL folded after one season because of rising monetary losses and declining television ratings.