Exactly what will happen to Globe Life Park after the Rangers move to their new stadium in April 2020 is becoming a little more clear. The old ball park will be home to a new football team -- an unnamed Dallas-area XFL franchise.
XFL officials announced Wednesday the eight cities that will have teams when the league re-launches in February 2020 -- as well as the stadiums they'll call home.
“After months of research and consideration, we’re thrilled to announce the cities and venues of the XFL’s eight inaugural teams,” said XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck. “We are committed to being ingrained in the local community and extremely fortunate that our teams will have world-class facilities to call home.”
Those cities are Dallas (Arlington), Houston, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington D.C.
The XFL is funded by founder and chairman Vince McMahon. McMahon launched the league in 2001 as a partnership with his World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) and NBC but the league fizzled after only one season.
In a statement Wednesday, the XFL promised to deliver "authentic, high energy football for the whole family at an affordable price."
NBC5 caught up with sports fans at Texas Live! Wednesday night who are eager to bring another asset to Arlington's growing entertainment district.
"I'm excited about it, I think it'll be great," said football fan Greg Berry. "It's a little different than the NFL so I think it might draw a better crowd and I think Globe Life Park will be a great place to have it."
But others are skeptical, remembering the XFL's short-lived first run.
"I tried it, I tried watching the first round but I just couldn't get into it and then it didn't get past one season," said Autumn Rodgers.
One man who knows a lot about the league is Tommy Maddox. The quarterback coach and head baseball coach at Decatur High School was MVP in the XFL's first season of play back in 2001, when he led the Los Angeles Extreme to a championship.
"The success in the XFL got me another shot in the NFL and so it was kind of exciting," Maddox said.
He went on to play quarterback for the Pittsburg Steelers, picking up a Superbowl ring along the way.
"I think it's a great opportunity for guys to get a second chance and to play and do some things so I'm excited that it's coming back," Maddox said.
He thinks the XFL will take its lessons from the past to focus on a high-quality game that keeps fans coming back for more.
"I think they'll learn from it and I think it'll be better. I think it'll be a better product," Maddox said.
"The XFL will embrace the latest on and off-field technology, providing live game coverage, content and real-time engagement across multiple platforms, giving fans greater access than ever before. We will build strong grassroots relationships with local organizations in our Host Cities through social responsibility partnerships, and the XFL will enjoy the support of WWE’s many extraordinary resources and promotional capabilities," the league said.
The XFL's initial eight teams will have 45 players on each roster playing a 10-game schedule. The postseason will consist of two semifinal playoff games and a championship game.
That's a short season of play for Globe Life Park but Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said Wednesday, “Today’s XFL announcement is one of many ways the City plans to deliver on its promise to reinvent Globe Life Park. The XFL will be the first of many announcements about the repurposing of our iconic venue that will have a new, long life in Arlington after Globe Life Field opens in 2020.”
The first games begin Feb. 8-9, 2020.