Jim Caldwell is helping the XFL get off the ground, but that won’t mean planting roots in the last city he coached in.
The XFL rolled out the list of eight cities where it will host teams in its first season back in 2020. It’s a group that includes Los Angeles, the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area, Dallas, Washington D.C., Houston, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Seattle.
It will not include Detroit, which isn’t a big surprise, though some were hoping for it. The league, which has been spearheaded by wrestling entrepreneur Vince McMahon, generally went for larger markets. However, with just eight teams, it will not have representation in some of the biggest TV markets, such as Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Boston.
That means the Lions will remain the lone football show in town, at least for a little while. They came into this year with many expecting them to be the best sports team in town, but with a 4-8 record and a soft rebuild seeming to launch under new coach Matt Patricia, that is not the case right now.
It’s a drop-off from the 9-7 record the team had the past two seasons under Caldwell. The former coach didn’t find another landing spot in the college or pro games this year, marking the first time since he graduated from the University of Iowa in 1976. He did serve as an honorary captain at an Iowa game this year, but his time elsewhere has gone to helping the XFL get back off the ground.
He’s served as a consultant for the league, serving on a panel that advises on the rules, styles and makeup of the league.
The XFL rolled out a few of those details Wednesday as well. Each of the eight teams will have a 45-man roster and will play 10 games in the regular season.
The league is aiming to be a faster-paced, more fan-centric alternative to the NFL. It will launch in February 2020 and will aim to be more successful than the last time McMahon tried this in 2001, when it lasted just one season.