Photo courtesy SB Nation

Vince McMahon announced today in association with his new entertainment enterprise that the XFL – the last professional football league that tried to coexist with the NFL – is returning.

McMahon offered a few details on what the league will look like, and mainly it seems to address fans’ biggest gripes about the current state of the NFL. McMahon did say the league will look to be a faster, more family-friendly version of football, and it appears players will be required to stand for the National Anthem. This is, of course, in direct contrast to the marketing strategy of the original XFL, which sold the violence football has to offer in the pedicured hands of underdressed models. But it also takes some jabs at the current policies in the NFL. Namely, McMahon says the league will not employ anyone with a criminal record, something the NFL has balked at whenever one of its players gets in trouble with the law.

McMahon also said the game will be played in stadiums with “simplified rules” and that it’s very possible there will be no intermission for halftime. All this, he claims will speed his version of the sport up and make games only about two hours long.

The league will launch in 2020, according to McMahon, with eight 40-man teams. But where will those teams be located? Well, here are eight suggestions that not only make sense for the fans, but a budding league’s bottom line:

Photo courtesy Allsport

New York/New Jersey
The New York area has about every professional sports team it can handle and then some, but there’s good reason for it: money. The area was home to the ‘Hitmen’ in the original go of the XFL, a team that would almost certainly be rebranded if it were to be brought back this time around. With over seven million TV households in its market, there’s ample opportunity for viewership. What’s more is New York, unlike, say, Los Angeles, has never had trouble becoming a profitable home for a pro football franchise. Add in the fact that the Arena Football League (the NFL’s only stateside form of competition to date) never came back to New York following the league temporarily folding in 2008, and one can very much see room for a third professional football franchise in the metropolitan area.

If the new XFL’s business model is attracting pro football fans dismayed by the current NFL, plopping a franchise in the dust the Raiders kick up leaving town makes a lot of sense. San Francisco had an XFL team – the Demons – the first time around, making the market not wholly new to the alternate pro football enterprise. But plenty of diehard Raiders fans will be looking to spend their hard-earned paychecks somewhere, and there’s a better chance of the Raiders coming back then disillusioned Raiders magically becoming Niners fans overnight. If the XFL, is worried about the area being unable to support two football franchises (given one is up and leaving), Sacramento up the road is another option. But there’s plenty to suggest Oakland could work.

One of the largest cities that did not see an XFL team the last time around, Boston could be an interesting choice for a number of reasons. First, its current “team” does not play in Boston. They play an hour away in Foxborough, Massachusetts. That makes Boston one of the largest metropolitan areas without a current or planned professional football stadium. Also, mayor Marty Walsh has been pushing hard to land the new Amazon Headquarters “sweepstakes”. Why? The boon that would follow for the local economy. And if they miss out Amazon’s new headquarters a new professional sports franchise within the city limits might just make a nice consolation prize.

Seattle represents the largest television market on this list that does not have a professional franchise for each of the “big four” sports (that ship sailed with the Supersonics). However, the Northwest’s rabid fervor for MLS has pumped new lifeblood into that sports league, and one can argue that Seattlers, more than consumers in other cities, have a fondness for sports franchises outside the “big four”. Both elements point to an opening for an XFL team in the Seattle/Tacoma area.

Photo courtesy Inquisitr

Orlando was home to the Rage, the only XFL team to win more than seven regular season games during the league’s only season. Not all of those XFL fans are gone, they may simply be dormant. More importantly, though, Orlando is the largest television market without an NFL franchise. I don’t think I need to explain to you the value in that. And let’s not forget for a league that plans to play most of its football in the dead of winter, you could do worse than central Florida to play. Combine an XFL pedigree, the lack of competition, and a sizable television market and what do you get? The logical spot for an XFL team this time around.

St. Louis
Continuing on the strategy of bringing in disheartened NFL fans, St. Louis needs to be circled with a big fat red sharpie. Of the three cities that recently lost their NFL teams – Oakland, St. Louis, and San Diego – perhaps no fan base was more vocal about their team leaving than St. Louis. The XFL did not have a St. Louis franchise the last time, but the Rams had a lot to do with that, and the Rams are gone. The hunger for football is still fresh, and having the 21st largest television market means there are certainly viewers to attract.

San Diego
In its first attempt, the XFL put a franchise in Los Angeles, but that was 2001 and Los Angeles didn’t have a pro football team. Now they have two. Everyone knows Los Angeles, for whatever reason, has had a tenuous relationship with pro football and with the NFL oversaturating the market, it makes sense for the XFL to stay away this time. Enter San Diego, the obvious alternative. Not only do they fit the criteria of a city recently maligned by the NFL, it gives the XFL a major city with a ready-now pro football stadium not in use by an NFL team.

San Antonio
There are a number of reasonable suggestions for the eighth and final team. Salt Lake City has one pro sports franchise already and would give the XFL a foothold in the western Midwest, an area underrepresented with the NFL. Likewise, somewhere like Columbus, Ohio would put a team in a football-friendly state yet away from any NFL franchise. But for a pro football league to not have a representative from Texas just seems downright un-American. Who knows, maybe that’s why the XFL didn’t work out the first time (among the laundry list of other issues). Not only is San Antonio a decent-sized television market in its own right, nearby Austin almost as many TV households, and together the two represent the biggest markets in Texas not encumbered with an NFL franchise.