WWE chairman Vince McMahon has announced that he is expected to bring back the XFL, a controversial football league, in 2020.
Vince McMahon officially confirmed the return of the XFL during a live press conference on Thursday. McMahon said the league is targetting their first season to be played in 2020, likely kicking off in January or February.
“The new XFL is an exciting opportunity to re-imagine America’s favorite sport,” McMahon said in a statement on WWE.com. “As we move towards kickoff, we look forward to listening and implementing innovative ideas from players, coaches, medical experts, technology executives, the media and most importantly football fans.”
McMahon also said the XFL will have a 10-week season with two semi-final games before the championship during the postseason. He stated that the teams of the league will be formed in 2019 before the first season and rosters will consist of 40 players, and there will be no crossover with WWE talent.
McMahon went into detail about various rules, touching on respecting the anthem as part of their efforts to create quality football. That also means players who committed a past crime will not be legible to join the league, immediately ruling out Johnny Manziel moments after he tweeted McMahon about the XFL.
“People don’t want social and political issues coming into play when they are trying to be entertained,” McMahon said. “We want someone who wants to take a knee to do their version of that on their personal time.”
And like the original XFL, McMahon wants the games to be shorter than standard NFL games, aiming for two hours. To make that a reality, McMahon would consider eliminating halftime.
McMahon admitted a desire to bring back the XFL has been lingering since the first and only season in 2001.
“I wanted to do this since the day we stopped the other one,” McMahon said, via ESPN. “A chance to do it with no partners, strictly funded by me, which would allow me to look in the mirror and say, ‘You were the one who screwed this up,’ or ‘You made this thing a success.'”
McMahon sold over three million shares of the WWE to raise $100 million to start Alpha Entertainment, the company backing the XFL.