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XFL reboot names eight charter franchises, plans innovative game

WWE founder and chairman Vince McMahon poses for a portrait photo. McMahon announced that the XFL will re-launch in 2020. Craig Ambrosio/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports1 / 2
XFL chief executive officer Oliver Luck stands in a tunnel and watches a Sept. 1 game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. Ben Queen / USA TODAY Sports 2 / 2

The XFL American football league signalled it was back in business on Wednesday, announcing eight charter franchises for its reboot that will kickoff in 2020 and a change of direction from its short-lived predecessor that folded 17 years ago.

The cities and stadiums are Dallas (Globe Life Park), Houston (TDECU Stadium), Los Angeles (StubHub Center), St. Louis (The Dome at America's Center), Seattle (CenturyLink Field), Tampa (Raymond James Stadium), New York (MetLife Stadium) and Washington, D.C. (Audi Field).

These teams will try to find success where the 2001 XFL failed. XFL domain names for several other cities have reportedly been registered, hinting at possible future expansion.

In its first incarnation, the XFL, which was conceived as an outdoor football league that would take place during the NFL off-season, survived just one season having sought to fuse the sport with the over-the-top theatrics of pro wrestling.

Vince McMahon, founder and chairman of both XFL ventures, said the new version will focus on football promising fast-paced, affordable, family friendly entertainment that will be interactive and as technologically-advanced as possible.

McMahon is once again betting on America's insatiable appetite for gridiron, playing a 10-game regular season followed by postseason and a championship game during the winter and spring months when the NFL has concluded.

"Combined these markets comprise nearly a quarter of the nation's population," said XFL commissioner and CEO Oliver Luck at a news conference held at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium.

"The quality of football is our number-one priority and we are doing everything possible to get that right.

"The XFL is being built for fans and built to last."

World Wrestling Entertainment founder and Chairman McMahon has come up with a different game plan than the one employed by his first football league that mixed the sport with aspects of his wrestling empire.

McMahon is investing $500 million of his own money into a business model similar to the one used by Major League Soccer when it started, with all the franchises owned and operated by the league.