What do you think? Could this be like the old AFC and NFC (after the AFL/NFL merger)?
LINK Are you ready for … a lot of mid-tier pro football?
One week after the Super Bowl in February 2023, U.S. sports will see the unlikely scenario of five and a half straight months of startup spring football leagues, testing just how much American appetite there is for pigskin and whether that many quality football players aren’t on NFL rosters.
The XFL, the third version of the league following a single 2001 season and half of one in 2020, unveiled its eight team markets earlier this week and committed to a Feb. 18, 2023, kickoff, broadcast by ESPN.
“There’s clearly an appetite for year-round football. I don’t think that’s in question,” said Randy Vataha, a former New England Patriot who owned an original USFL team and is a longtime sports investment banker. “I think that the level of the appetite, especially if you’re putting on two leagues, is tough. … But it’s always been the question of can you generate enough revenue to support the sport of football?”
Vataha predicts that within a few years, the leagues will merge if one has not folded. “If they both get some level of establishment,” he said, “you can pretty much be guaranteed there’ll be merger talks pretty early on.”