XFL football league unveils team names and logos
STAMFORD — Eight months ago, the XFL set down stakes in eight cities across the country.
Now, each of those squads has its own colors and moniker.
The rebooted football league unveiled Wednesday names and logos for the octet of teams — including the New York Guardians, with an insignia resembling the head of a saber-toothed cat — that will take the field for its inaugural 2020 campaign. With the new monikers, the Vince McMahon-financed venture can ramp up marketing ahead of the Feb. 8 season kickoff.
“Team names were all chosen exclusively to represent the spirit of the football fans in their respective cities, signifying fun and football — nothing more,” XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck said in an online show to announce the names.
The rest of the league’s players will suit up for the Dallas Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, Los Angeles Wildcats, St. Louis Battle Hawks, Seattle Dragons, Tampa Bay Vipers and the Washington, D.C. Defenders.
Among other recent moves, the XFL earlier this month started sending out several hundred invitations to players to declare for the league’s draft in October. After evaluating current and former professional players, the league’s eight teams will each draft 70 for their rosters.
Last week, the XFL announced its first recruit: quarterback Landry Jones, a University of Oklahoma alumnus who was a backup signal-caller for several seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In May, the league announced multiyear television deals with ABC, ESPN and Fox.
In the XFL’s first version, a single season in 2001, games were shown on NBC. The matches started with strong ratings, but soon saw their audience decline.
Amid the NFL’s perennial ratings reign among American sports, significant challenges face new professional football leagues.
In April, the Alliance of American Football stopped eight weeks into its first season, despite a $250 million investment in February from its chairman.
XFL team names
To put the XFL on a stronger fiscal footing, McMahon has made a series of major investments. He sold nearly $272 million worth of WWE stock in March to fund Alpha Entertainment LLC, a business that is supporting XFL’s launch.
In December 2017, McMahon sold about $100 million of WWE shares to fund Alpha. He made an additional $22 million stock sale last December.
While Greenwich resident McMahon is financing the XFL, he has said that he has no plans to step down as WWE’s CEO.
The two enterprises are neighbors: WWE is headquartered at 1241 E. Main St., on Stamford’s East Side; XFL is based at 1266 E. Main St.
In March, WWE announced that it would relocate its headquarters within the city by early 2021.
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