The XFL had a very successful opening weekend, but there are certain things they need to change to make sure they survive more than one season.
According to sportsmediawatch.com, the opening XFL game between the Seattle Dragons and DC Defenders averaged a 2.1 rating and had 3.3 million viewers. That was only slightly higher than the opening game of the Alliance of American Football opener.
There seems to be more buzz around the XFL; though the real test will be as the weeks go on. Will they be able to keep that buzz going and build on it?
Let’s look at three changes the XFL needs to make to survive.
3. Need all teams to play in smaller stadiums
This seems like a small change, but if they bring new teams in they all need to be playing in soccer stadiums, or smaller college football stadiums.
The New York Guardians play their home games at MetLife Stadium, which is way too big for their fan base. The first game brought in 17,634 fans, which would have almost filled most soccer stadiums, and given an elite atmosphere.
The buzz was still nice for the game, but in such a large stadium, it felt like almost a spring football practice. Seeing a good atmosphere can on TV can have a large impact on the fans.
If the league grows enough, maybe one day they can play in NFL stadiums, but the league isn’t to that point yet.
2. More rule changes that differ from the NFL
The XFL made some key changes, especially with the kickoff rules and clock stoppages at the end of the game, but they need to do more. The talent level isn’t the same as the NFL. The rules need to reflect that or mask it.
If the talent level isn’t the same, soon this will look too much like the NFL, just with worse caliber talent. If that continues it will look like minor league football, and people will lose interest.
1. Each team needs a star player
The XFL might say they don’t have the money to sign a star player, but the league needs to reach deeper in their pockets and find some more money.
If Johnny Manziel and Colin Kaepernick are under center instead of Phillip Nelson and Brandon Silvers there is no doubt more people will tune in. What if they paid a two or three million dollars to Dez Bryant to try and entice him to the league. This league would have a buzz surrounding it and the viewer ratings would soar.