Dwayne Johnson's rebooted XFL chooses Arlington for pivotal operations
Superstar Dwayne Johnson’s rebooted XFL football league will launch in 2023, with Dallas-Fort Worth and Arlington as major players.
In addition to having a team of its own, the City of Arlington is XFL’s new football operations "hub," the league announced on Monday, July 25. The XFL and Arlington inked a three-year agreement that will create a centralized performance facility plus multiple local practice venues for preseason and in-week training for the league’s eight teams.
The are: Arlington, Houston, San Antonio; Orlando, Florida; Las Vegas; St. Louis, Missouri; and Washington, D.C. (Team names have not been announced.)
Arlington’s Choctaw Stadium (the former home of the Texas Rangers), will serve as the in-week practice facility for both the Arlington and Houston teams, and will be the home stadium for Arlington for weekend games. Additionally, REV Entertainment, the event coordinator of Choctaw Stadium, will use Choctaw and surrounding venues for team meeting spaces, in-person entertainment, and fan engagement opportunities, per a league announcement.
North Texas as a whole figures prominently in the "hub," as the league will use three additional local practice facilities: Northwest ISD Stadium, Southlake Carroll Dragon Stadium, and Vernon Newsom Stadium. During the week, players will be housed at local hotel partners, and a daily meal service will be provided sourced from local restaurants and caterers, further boosting economic impact.
As part of the "hub" model, players will also have access to full-time, onsite support from coaches and athletic training staff, and teams will be provided a content creation center for opportunities to build personal brands and engage with fans through social media, in-person events, and other media platforms — a major push from the celebrity co-owner, Johnson.
“The XFL has officially landed in the great football state of Texas,” said Johnson in a statement. “We are bringing a new kind of football experience to fans, players and partners, harnessing the power of modern technology, content and interactivity to create a new standard for the future of sports and live event entertainment. We are 100-percent committed to taking care of our players, and our new Texas Hub will ensure that they all receive top-notch training and development while also getting an opportunity to build individual brands and shine.”
Johnson and XFL chairwoman and owner Dany Garcia announced the XFL’s new season kickoff — February 18, 2023 — as well as the eight inaugural teams at town hall event hosted at Texas Live! in Arlington on Sunday, July 24.
Area football fans will recognize longtime college coach Bob Stoops, who famously won a college championship with the University of Oklahoma, as the head of the Arlington franchise. Other notable coaching names include Texas football royalty Wade Phillips (former Dallas Cowboys head coach) in Houston, Super Bowl champion wide receiver Hines Ward in San Antonio, and Hall of Fame and Super Bowl defensive back Rod Woodson in Las Vegas.
Season tickets are available now; games will be broadcast on ESPN.
Promising “world-class” and global football, with “innovative” rules and a “360-degree” and “fan-first” experience, the rebooted XFL is owned by Garcia, Johnson, and Gerry Cardinale of RedBird Capital Partners. Bringing Hollywood superpower and credentials, Johnson has been credited for delivering buzz, flash, and big names to the new league.
“Arlington is a football-loving city and we are excited to deepen our roots within the community and strengthen the already dedicated fan base here,” said Garcia. “We are grateful to be working with Mayor Ross, Choctaw Stadium, REV Entertainment, and other local officials as we make Arlington our league’s new home.”