The XFL Says "Every City is on Their Radar", Why Not San Angelo?
SAN ANGELO, TX—Vince McMahon, the CEO of WWE and founder Alpha Entertainment, announced a reboot of his defunct, over-the-top football league the XFL on Jan. 25.
During the press conference, McMahon stated he wanted to give the sport back to the fans.
McMahon toyed with the ideas of eliminating halftime, fewer commercial breaks, less infractions, no cheerleaders and simplifying the rules.
McMahon also stated the 2020 inaugural season of the XFL would feature eight teams and a 10 game season.
While the league may start off in major markets like New York, Houston or Chicago, where there is already competition from the National Football League, McMahon is not crossing any city off his list.
“Every city is on our radar,” McMahon told CBS Sports. “It only makes sense for the XFL to land where they play football.”
Well, if “every city” is in fact on their radar, San Angelo and its residents definitely love and play football as is evident with the throngs that pack San Angelo Stadium on Friday nights.
The City of San Angelo would have to place a bid for an expansion team, of course, but why not explore the idea of San Angelo getting on the big stage.
First off, during the only previous year of the XFL, there were no teams located in Texas. If they want to succeed, they need to target the Lone Star State where football is a religion.
The passion for the game makes San Angelo a good location to put a franchise in, albeit not at first. The XFL will need to target the major markets first to create the sustainability it never had in its previous existence.
Secondly, San Angelo could draw a crowd from the Abilene and Midland-Odessa areas as well with a few stragglers making their way down from Lubbock occasionally. West Texas football fans are loyal and constantly live, and die, by their teams. These loyal crowds would easily fill up the 17,500-seat San Angelo Stadium on a regular basis.
The addition of a true professional sports team on a major national stage would also create an economic boom for the area.
However, past professional sports teams in San Angelo have struggled to stay afloat in lesser leagues (i.e. the Bandits, Colts and Outlaws/Saints).
The Bandits could never fill the Foster Communications Coliseum because indoor/arena football has never been successful at any level. The Arena Football League, the primary league for indoor football, averaged just over 9,000 fans in attendance last season pointing toward a dwindling following for the sport.
The Colts saw a 14-year run in San Angelo with five championships across the Texas-Louisiana, Central, North American and United Baseball Leagues they participated in during that time. That run of success was spurred by the fact Angelo State University didn’t resurrect its baseball team until 2005 so fans had grown used to the Colts as their source for baseball. But the Rams would reach the NCAA Division 2 World Series in 2007, switching fan’s interest to ASU.
The Outlaws/Saints were almost doomed from the start as there is not as big of a devout hockey following in San Angelo and west Texas.
The other thing these teams have in common is they all participated in leagues that suffered from financial trouble trying to compete with the major leagues, all going belly up.
The XFL, despite its failure in 2001, has all signs pointing to sustainability this time around. McMahon has said no politics will be involved in the XFL and players with criminal records will not be considered for the reboot. Those two policies will surely draw attention away from disgruntled fans of the NFL following the protests over the past two seasons.
Again, it’s doubtful that San Angelo would actually try to pull a franchise from the XFL, but the heart of the passionate Concho Valley would probably make a solid landing spot if the passionate XFL made its way to west Texas.