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The Aquilian

XFL Returns to D.C.

The D.C. Defenders, Washington D.C’s representative in the “Xtra Fun League,”  return to the XFL this February and will provide the District with another great source of revenue and pride.

The XFL took a pandemic-related hiatus starting back in 2020 and will finally resume this Feb. 18. The XFL had a brief stint under owner Vince McMahon in 2001. After being brought back by McMahon in 2020, the XFL had a successful first half of the season before shutting down. 

The league is now under the new ownership of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and will bring eight teams to eight respective cities. Washington, D.C. is the home of the DC Defenders this upcoming season.

Back in 2020, when the XFL was gaining attention from football fans, the D.C. Defenders showed promise leading their division with a 3-2 record. During that time, the D.C. Metro area embraced that team and had a sense of pride because of their success. The Defenders filled 16,000 seats on average at Audi Field. Sports fans in the DMV are used to the unsuccessful Commanders and Wizards, so the D.C. Defenders have a chance to reap the benefits of giving the tri-state area a new taste in their mouth.

I’ve heard opinions stating that D.C. is crowded with sports teams and that the negatives of bringing a new team to D.C. outweigh the positives. A lot of this argument is grounded in two ideas. The first is that the XFL won’t be very successful in general, but this is false. According to ESPN Press Room, the XFL averaged 2.9 million viewers in their opening week of 2020. 

The very first DC Defenders game racked up a whopping 3.3 million viewers by itself. 

The second idea is the city’s overwhelmed sports scene. Washington, D.C. already claims six major market teams, and another could potentially be too much. I think that DC sports fans will come around and accept the XFL once they realize that the Defenders have a good home in Audi Field and that the team will bring another sense of pride and community to the city.

I think the XFL will be a great success and that the Defenders will bring nothing but a positive effect.


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