Vince McMahon, WWE founder and chairman announced that he will give a professional football league, the XFL, a comeback in 2020.
The initial outlay of money is expected to be $100 million.
Comments from McMahon:
“I wanted to do this since the day we stopped the other one,” McMahon told 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.'”
“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.”
“I can say, ‘Here are the rules, and as long as you are playing football in the stadium for us, you follow these rules.'”
“We are evaluating a player based on many things, including the quality of human being they are,” McMahon said. “If you have any sort of criminal record or commit a crime you aren’t playing in this league.”
“You want someone who does not have any criminality associated whatsoever with them. Even if you have a DUI you will not play in the XFL,” McMahon told reporters. “So that will probably eliminate some of them. Not all of them. If Tim Tebow wants to play, he can very well play.”
“It’s extremely important that we have time to get together and get them practicing so we can have a quality product,” McMahon said.
“To me the landscape has changed in so many different ways,” McMahon said. “Just look at technology and companies like Facebook and Amazon bidding for sports rights. Even if ratings go down, there’s no denying that live sports rights continue to be valuable and continue to deliver.”
“I don’t think people want to see the same thing when they’re streaming as they see on television,” McMahon said. “That’s boring. I think fans want it shot in a totally different way, and I think there’s an immersive opportunity that’s more interactive to the game.”
“The start of this league has nothing to do with the NFL’s troubles,” McMahon said. “What has happened there is their business, and I’m not going to knock those guys, but I am going to learn from their mistakes as anyone would if they were tasked with reimagining a new football league.”
“Every city is on our radar,” McMahon told reporters.
“To me that’s common sense,” McMahon said. “Everyone in America lives when they perform, they get a raise or bonus. That’s capitalism.”
“One thing we are not is a development league for the NFL,” McMahon said.
“Quite frankly I looked at a number of things, but nothing resonated like the XFL. There’s only so many things that have ‘FL’ on the end of them and those are already taken. But we aren’t going to have much of what the XFL had, including the cheerleaders, who aren’t really part of the game anymore. The audience wants entertainment with football, and that’s what we are going to give them.”
“Maybe in a certain city having the old college quarterback would make sense, but only if he’s the best option,” McMahon said. “It’s the wrong thing to do just for marketing.”