XFL Franchise Coming to El Paso? Not a Chance
WWE founder and chairman Vince McMahon announced that the XFL is officially returning in 2020 following an 18 year hiatus. There will be a total of eight franchises situated around the country, and they will play a 10-week schedule that will take place from January through March; all of the gimmicks that used to exist when the league launched in 2001 will be eliminated.
There has been talk that a franchise will be awarded to the state of Texas, potential cities mentioned have been Houston, Austin, San Antonio and even El Paso. Before everyone and their brother gets super excited about the possibility of an XFL franchise coming to the Sun City in a couple of years, let me stop you there; no chance at all of that occurring!
I have lived in El Paso since 1991 and think it is an absolutely wonderful place, however, there are too many fare weather sports fans here in order to support an XFL team. There is no telling how much tickets will cost when the league reemerges in two years, but I simply don't see El Pasoans paying the necessary money to warrant Vince McMahon bringing a franchise here. Let's face it, even when UTEP is winning in football, which has been a true rarity for years now, the Sun Bowl still won't sell out.
Despite being the 19th largest city in the country, there are simply not enough passionate football fans here. Don't get me wrong, I know we have a ton of NFL fans, but would you really see those individuals supporting an XFL team? Another thing that we have working against us is that Austin, San Antonio and Houston may have their hat in the mix to be awarded a franchise. Without question, the fact that those cities have a more vibrant scene, and much more to do in general, makes it a tough sale for El Paso.
I know what you're thinking, if the Chihuahuas have been such a success, then why can't we support an XFL team? A few things come to mind, first off where would they play? The Sun Bowl is a beautiful stadium, but in desperate need of a face lift. No way on earth that a new stadium is built, and Southwest University Park is way too small for an XFL team. The financial aspect looms large here too. Would causal or extreme fans want to pay to watch the XFL here, I'm not convinced they would. Lastly, it's worth noting that when the league emerged in 2001, the majority of the franchises were in large television markets like LA, Chicago and New York, El Paso simply isn't a big enough market.
I would love to see an XFL team here, why not? But, it's simply wishful thinking, let's support the teams we have and enjoy them for now.