AAF vs XFL: The Competition is Heating Up
The upcoming competition between the AAF (Alliance of American Football) and the XFL is starting to heat up. The AAF is fresh off announcing their final inaugural city for their 8-team league that begins play next February. The XFL has countered that news with their announcement of an expected $500 million-dollar investment from league proprietor Vince McMahon. So, what is going on with these two competing leagues? Let’s investigate!
LATEST FROM THE AAF
The AAF has come strong out of the gate by hiring experienced head coaches to run their eight teams. Every coach hired has either NFL or college football head coach experience, with the exception of Birmingham coach Tim Lewis. The AAF has announced teams to be in aforementioned Birmingham, Atlanta, Memphis, Orlando, San Diego, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and San Antonio. The league was founded by Charlie Ebersol. Ebersol’s father Dick was a partner with Vince McMahon in the original XFL. Former NFL GM Bill Polian and former players like Jared Allen are also assisting the league.
The AAF has already acquired a linear partnership with CBS and their cable network CBS Sports Network. CBS will broadcast the top telecast in Week 1 and the league’s championship. CBSSN will broadcast the top game every other week. The other three games will be streamed on the league’s mobile app. Financial compensation for players has not been announced at this time. This will become important later.
LATEST FROM THE XFL
Vince McMahon has decided to revive the XFL after a 17-year hiatus. The league was an epic failure in its first incarnation but they are taking the proper steps to see that it survives in Round 2. The first move positive move was to hire one of the top brass at the NCAA, Oliver Luck, to be CEO and league commissioner. Luck is a well-respected figurehead throughout all football circles. If you combine that with McMahon’s $500M investment, you set up with solid footing. They currently do not have any TV plans announced but don’t be surprised if digital is the main way the league’s games are consumed.
The XFL will start with eight teams, however, the league has yet to announce the cities. They have noted that would like to play in current NFL markets, although that isn’t set in stone. The biggest announcement made so far was that player salaries will start at $70K for players on each team’s 40-man roster. “Star” players may earn more money. The player salary is on close to what the average salary is for the Canadian League.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
I was skeptical about the XFL until I saw the player salary commitment. This tells me they are serious and the league may have a chance. The AAF has the advantage of starting a year earlier. They also now know what the XFL will be paying. If they don’t match or exceed it, players will gladly play for their competition. One (if not both) of these leagues are not going to make it. I hope not because I want as much football to consume as I can. However, common sense dictates that there are not enough quality players to fill two leagues. If the quality of play is terrible the league cannot survive. This is what happened to XFL 1.0. It is going to be interesting to follow, for sure.
What do you think of the upcoming battle between the XFL and AAF? Let us know in the comments!
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