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Potential Expansion Cities for the XFL Amid CFL Partnership

While solid news as to what the XFL-CFL collaboration will look like has yet to drop, this partnership has opened up a world of possibilities for both leagues. Amid rumors of larger international aspirations, concerns from CFL fans looking to preserve their traditions, and XFL fans eager to see their teams back on the field, there is a much simpler issue to consider.

The CFL has 9 teams, and the XFL has 8. I suppose there’s nothing wrong with a potential super league having an odd number of teams, but 18 franchises would seem a much more solid front than 17.

Dany Garcia & The Rock have had expansion on their minds ever since they bought the league, and though they “love the XFL with 8 teams”, it appears they are ultimately aiming at adding more down the road.

Cities across the country have been gunning for teams of their own, and there are 5 cities in particular which seem well positioned to one day boast an XFL franchise. Should league ownership decide to even out with the CFL, any one of these would make an excellent destination for the XFL’s 9th team.

Oakland, CA

Oakland just watched the Raiders pack their bags and move to Las Vegas. Seeing your team leave has to be hard on any fanbase, and this is a city hungry for football. With strong traditions, this could be a great venue for an expansion team. If Ring Central Coliseum and the Black Hole could host a football team again, Oakland’s fans would likely jump at the opportunity, though they would have to figure out scheduling with the Oakland A’s into spring.

St. Louis and the BattleHawks proved that cities with empty nest syndrome after losing their NFL teams are great markets for the XFL, and Oakland would be a solid bet to build on this fact.

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia was one of 21 cities who registered domains for XFL teams back in 2018, and they would make a great addition to the league. Another city with rich football history, they have a hardcore fanbase to support a team. They’ve been big supporters of other alternate teams over the years, most notably the Philadelphia Soul of the AFL, which was one of its more successful franchises.

It seems some of the best venues for teams to play in last spring were soccer stadiums, and Subaru Park is an 18,500 seater nestled right alongside the Delaware River.

Birmingham, AL

Birmingham’s city council actually made a push to get an XFL expansion team last year, and this would be a natural marriage. Birmingham hosted the Thunderbolts in the original XFL, and though the state has ‘Bama dominating the SEC every fall they’ve yet to have a long-term pro team there. Seasons with the Thunderbolts and the AAF’s Iron proved they can support a new team, and Legion Field is aptly titled “The Football Capitol of the South”. It’s known for being the home of the Alabama Crimson Tide, Auburn Tigers and UAB Blazers throughout its history.

This venue has hosted pro teams from the XFL, AAF, WFL, AFA, USFL, WLAF, and even the CFL during their American experiment in the 90s. To permanently call this place home would be a great benchmark for the historic stadium, and Birmingham would welcome a team with open arms.

San Diego, CA

Yet another on the growing list of cities who’ve lost their football team, San Diego supported the Chargers for decades before they hightailed it to Los Angeles. The San Diego Fleet of the AAF had the third-highest attendance leaguewide, and a team here would build a natural rivalry with the LA Wildcats.

Though I don’t sense as much animosity towards the NFL as there was in St. Louis, the loss of the Chargers stung, and they seem ready for a new team to root for. The only potential snag here is that Qualcomm Stadium has been demolitioned, and the only real option would be to play in SDSU’s Aztec Field, which is scheduled to finish construction in 2022.

Denver, CO

If the XFL wants to sell tickets, why not bring a team to the city that has sold out every single Broncos game for the past 51 years? This is a standing record in the NFL today, and there’s no greater proof that this city loves its teams. Denver even sold out the stadium in the Kyle Orton years, and have continued to do so in 5 straight losing seasons since Peyton retired. That’s loyalty.

This city even led the USFL in attendance during its inaugural season with the Denver Gold, packing an average of 41,000 fans into Mile High Stadium. Now, an XFL team could possibly set up shop in Empower Field, but if they’re looking for a slightly cozier venue, Boulder’s Folsom Field would be a good fit with ~54,000 seats, or Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is another 18,000 seater soccer field that could be an option.

Matt Nagashima has been covering the XFL since before the 2019 Draft, and has witnessed history being made as a Credentialed Reporter for the Dallas Renegades. While he is engrossed with the X's and O's, the roster building and more, it has always been his goal to keep the players first in mind in coverage, showing the human aspect of this sport behind all the action on the field. With Dany Garcia and Dwayne The Rock Johnson now at the helm, he's excited to see all the opportunities that this league will create for players to showcase their talent and make their dreams come true.

28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Richrad

    April 22, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    Something of critical importance when considering a potential new US location is the ability to travel there from Canada. We have 3x smaller centres (Winnipeg, Regina, Hamilton, that offer limited direct international travel. What isn’t discussed in this merger is the 10th CFL team that was accepted just prior to COVID, the Atlantic Schooners which will likely play out of Halifax, Nova Scotia (another smaller airport market). A 20 team international league will be amazing and I look forward to watching and supporting a league that offers more than being a farm-system to the NFL.

    • Rene

      April 24, 2021 at 7:36 pm

      Very good point. Agree 100%

  2. Jeff Donohue

    April 22, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    Why not Chicago?

    • NIUHusky88

      April 25, 2021 at 3:17 pm

      Exactly! Chicago even has an extra stadium that could house an XFL team. The stadium was formerly the home of the Chicago Fire before they moved back to Soldier Field. Perfect venue for an XFL franchise….not too big, not too small.

  3. Sean H

    April 22, 2021 at 5:57 pm

    You left out San Antonio. Like the battlehawks of the XFL the fan support was great. San Antonio had the best fan support in the AAF.

  4. Aron Oliva

    April 22, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    Where’s San Antonio, TX?

  5. Byron Tatum

    April 22, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    Hartford CT
    Orlando FL
    Omaha NE
    San Antonio TX
    Any of these cities would be great locations for XFL to expand to as well!

  6. Gregory Crawford

    April 23, 2021 at 1:06 am

    Hey, I appreciate the shout out for Birmingham. But, I need to inform you, we have a “gem” of a stadium coming on line this summer.
    Protective Stadium, is a state of the art, fan centric, 47k, stadium built-in the heart of downtown Birmingham. Any team would be proud to call it home. So, here’s hoping the XFL (or XFL/CFL) comes calling. We are waiting with our arms wide open. FORGE ON AND FOR THE LOVE OF FOOTBALL

  7. Steve W

    April 23, 2021 at 8:23 am

    They need to put it somewhere there is no NFL Team. Like Manchester NH. People here are sick of the antics of the NFL and the Cheatriots

  8. Mike Gardiner

    April 23, 2021 at 8:49 am

    What about Frisco Texas. Quite a Canadian Football presence in that area.

  9. Paul Otto Neumann

    April 23, 2021 at 9:28 am

    San Antonio needs to get a team. Their AAF team had the Alamodome packed each for game. I don’t know how you wouldn’t want to capitalize on that.

  10. Tim Vance

    April 23, 2021 at 10:23 am

    why would you keep putting teams in cities where there is an NFL team, or cities like like Oakland and San Diego that didn’t support the NFL team

  11. Walker

    April 23, 2021 at 11:18 am

    Birmingham AL was not to successful during the aaf however the San Antonio fans were absolutely amazing when I went to a commanders Game also great attendance

    • Gregory Crawford

      April 24, 2021 at 11:22 pm

      First, I would like to commend San Antonio. They have a great stadium and a rabid fan base. Expansion to San Antonio would be a big hit no matter which league decided to go there. True the attendance at the Iron games were not what I would have liked it to be.
      However, playing football in the south in the spring-time can be somewhat problematic, in an outdoor stadium. For example, the day we played the Commanders, the whole state was under a tornado warning. In fact, 23 people were killed 80 miles south of Birmingham that day.
      Speaking of that game, (I was there), there were 6500 brave souls in the stands during a torrential downpour. I must say, that was the loudest crowd for such a small number of people. By the way that Iron defense turned Kenneth Farrow back on 4 attempts inside the 5 yard line. But you guys won the game.
      With that in mind, I hope the new owners of the league move the opening of the season to somewhere around mid-April to avoid the stormy spring-time weather we have here in the deep south.
      Now this brings me to the real reason I replied to you . If this league is going to survive it is going to need people like that 6500 fans that showed up in Birmingham that day. It is easy to get 25,000 fans in a climate controlled dome, but , how many would you get outside under tornadic conditions?
      So, if the XFL want REAL fans, come on to Birmingham .We are ready
      FORGE ON and FOR THE LOVE OF FOOTBALL

  12. Jordan

    April 23, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    They should come to San Antonio, when AAF San Antonio Commanders were here, this city showed up to over 25 to 35 thousand loyal fans. The largest attendance in fact.

  13. Rodrick Webb

    April 23, 2021 at 5:36 pm

    No San Antonio? Did you not see how they supported the AAF and they have the Alamodome.

  14. James Reynolds

    April 24, 2021 at 8:36 am

    You forgot Baltimore – the only US franchise (Baltimore CFL Colts/Stallions) to ever win the Grey Cup!

  15. Al

    April 24, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    Matt, you should do your research before publishing such articles. The CFL has 10 teams, not 9. The Atlantic Schooners have been approved for expansion and will start playing in the CFL next season.

  16. Ken

    April 26, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    Columbus, Oh
    Portland, Or
    Orlando,Fla
    Sacramento,Cal
    Fargo,ND

    These are 5 others that should be considered. Columbus is a no brainer. Sacramento is a great idea, tho I like San Diego also. And I think Fargo, playing in the dome is a tremendous idea. Probably would never happen nut would be the Packers of the XFL

  17. Steve G

    April 26, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    If the XFL merges with the CFL, it will likely have an April to October 18 game schedule. If that’s the case, I’d wager that the current teams in cities with current NFL teams wouldn’t work. They may have to choose cities like the AAF did that don’t have NFL teams. San Antonio for sure, Shreveport’s CFL support was pretty good, as was Sacramento. Personally, I’d love those teams to come back. The CFL Gold Miners and Shreveport Pirates both had great uniforms. Bring ’em back.

  18. TardisCaptain

    April 27, 2021 at 12:10 am

    In a league that is actually played in warmer weather (i.e. Not February and early March) then Salt Lake City would make for a good location. Rice-Eccles Stadium or Rio Tinto could both hold a team.

    The only reason the AAF didn’t fly very well in SLC was the cold weather. A summer schedule would work well in Utah.

  19. John Mitchell

    April 28, 2021 at 9:18 pm

    What about Phoenix they had an AAF team.

  20. Robert "Rusty" Jarrell

    May 8, 2021 at 7:44 pm

    I’ll put forth The Big Easy! Yes it has the Superdome.But it also has Yulman Stadium. University of Tulane.Stadium. only seats around 30,000. Would be a great start for an expansion team. And New Orleans is football crazy! Had a great experience with the USFL and we are Saints crazy with football! Give us spring football and the attendance would be outstanding! I gurontee sha! That’s Cajun for you not from this part of the country. Y’all……..! Bring on Thee Spring League!!!

  21. Birmingham XFL Fan

    May 10, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    A Birmingham team would totally have to be named after Vulcan. “The Birmingham Hammers,” “The Birmingham Blacksmiths,” “The Birmingham Inferno”, so many great options to choose from.

  22. Philip Reese

    May 10, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    If a merger would take place then I would suggest the XFL revive the Baltimore Stallions, the only US based club to win the Grey Cup. They were supported back in the day. Makes sense to revive an important part of CFL history going forward.

  23. Chris Dube

    May 29, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    Another city you missed is St.Louis. Since the Rams went back to L.A., they’ve been without a team.

    Great sports town. They would support a team.

  24. Bruce Brooker

    June 6, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    Hey XFL. Go back to amerika and leave the Canadian Game alone. You know what you will do. Throw money around, exploit, expropriate, appropriate…in that smarmy yet oh so exceptional amerikan way. Take your lame stuff elsewhere. The CFL does not need you.

    • Gregory Crawford

      June 13, 2021 at 2:37 am

      Responding to Mr. Bruce Brooker : The way I see it, it is only about football, if our Canadian friends view this proposed collaboration in a different light, then, he is right the XFL should move on .
      We have 335 million people here in the US and plenty of markets wanting a team. Quite frankly , we just need to fill our markets and the XFL will be just fine.
      Let the CFL take care of their own issues.
      After all this is, ” for the love of football ” and “Forge ON” PS. I hope things work out for you guys.

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