World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and NBC Sports have announced the
formation of a professional football league named XFL, short for Extreme Football League.
League Format : The cities selected in the inaugural year are Birmingham, Chicago, Las
Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, New York, Orlando and San Francisco. All 8 franchises will be owned by the WWF, eliminating
the possibility of a rich owner signing on the best players and buying a
Team rosters will be limited to 40 players and
will include free agents, players from other leagues and from colleges. The
league would expand to upto 12 teams in 2002.
Season Dates : The league will begin operations in February 2001 and will run through April, starting the
week after the Super Bowl. The inaugural year will see a 10-game regular season,
followed by 2 playoff games. Eight teams in two divisions will compete for
four playoff spots.
Prior to the season, there will be a draft in October where the teams
will select the players. Every XFL team will conduct a series of
mini-camps following the draft. Formal training camps will begin a month
before the regular season.
Money Matters : The average salary of a
player would be $50,000 per year. Contracts for the players and
coaches will include a base
salary, and incentive bonuses based on performance.
Ticket prices during the regular season will average around $23,
less than half of the NFL average of $50.
Television : This will be a made for television league. There will be microphones
everywhere - in the huddle, on players, coaches, and referees. Cameras and
announcers will be present in the locker room. In-game interviews will be
allowed from the bench area.
NBC Sports has invested $30 million in this joint
venture with the WWF. NBC will air games live during prime time on
Saturdays, while UPN would provide live broadcast on
Sunday evenings. NBC is looking for a audience rating of 4.0 to break