With Thursday’s announcement of the XFL 2020 season from WWE’s Vince McMahon, rumors of which cities will have teams have come as well. It was announced that a total of eight teams will be part of the XFL when it makes its second attempt at success two years from now. One of those eight could include Orlando, a team that was part of the XFL in its original launch years ago. Here are the latest XFL rumors involving a team coming back to Orlando.
When the original XFL was launched for one season back in 2001 by WWF and NBC, one of the original eight teams was the Orlando Rage. They were joined by teams located in Chicago, New York/New Jersey, Birmingham, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Memphis, and Las Vegas. Orlando ended up achieving the best record in the league at 8-2, in the one and only season for the original version of the XFL. While they made it into the playoffs, they fell 26-25 to the San Francisco Demons in their first game and were eliminated.
The league will return with a more serious focus. A report from the Orlando Sentinel is suggesting that the city of Orlando is already showing interest in joining the XFL again when it gets its reboot in the year 2020. While there have been no official discussions between the city of Orlando and the XFL just yet, Mayor Buddy Dyer’s spokeswoman Cassandra Lafser indicated that they were “interested in learning more” with regard to bringing a team to the city.
During his live-streamed press teleconference on Thursday, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon addressed the situation of where teams would be located in the league when it relaunches in 2020. There were no specific cities given as McMahon indicated there would be a lot of research going into where the XFL teams would be hosted, but he mentioned teams would go to where the fans wanted them to go.
The Orlando Rage had their debut game in the original XFL back in February of 2001 with a reported 36,000 or so fans in attendance, making it a sellout game. That first game made it seem like a roaring success for the city and possibly the league. However, the fact that Vince McMahon and the powers that be guiding the inaugural football league used gimmicks didn’t help it flourish. The league had disappointing ratings, leading to a flop and an eventual bowing out after just one season.
However, with the NFL experiencing its share of issues in the present day, that has given the potential for a successful XFL run to Vince McMahon. This time around, he won’t be as visible, and if some of the cities that don’t have NFL teams are able to get XFL teams that play serious football minus the political and social issues, that could translate into a better business model.
Orlando currently has an NBA team with the Orlando Magic, but no professional baseball, hockey, or football teams. The city will host the NFL’s Pro Bowl Game this coming weekend, though. Based on their interest in 2020 and their original success in 2001, Orlando may be on its way to becoming a big success with the 2020 season of the XFL as well.