A reimagined XFL has taken one step closer to reality today as WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon announced NFL and NCAA alum Oliver Luck as the new football league’s boss.
Luck, who is the father of NFL quarterback Andrew Luck, will serve as commissioner and CEO of the XFL, which is scheduled to launch in 2020 with eight teams. Luck brings several football bona fides to the job: he most recently worked as the NCAA’s executive vice president of regulatory affairs and strategic partnerships. Before that, he was director of athletics at West Virginia University and also the first president and general manager of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo, which he led to two MLS Cup titles.
Luck also spent three years as starting quarterback for West Virginia University before being drafted by the Houston Oilers in 1982.
In a video, Luck promised that XFL would be a “fast-paced, high-energy, authentic yet simpler game” and that the games would be affordable for all fans.
The XFL has so far distributed proposals to 30 U.S. markets and will eventually winnow that down to eight.
“This will be a labor of love as I get to combine my experiences as a football player and a football executive to create something that fuels your passion and makes you proud to be a fan of the XFL,” Luck said.
Earlier this year, McMahon announced the launch of the XFL, which he said he is personally funding. The new league is promising live game coverage, content and real-time engagement across multiple platforms.
This will be the second time McMahon has tried to get the XFL off the ground. In 2001, the league originally launched but played only one season. The original league was a joint venture between WWE and NBC.
WWE has yet to announce its broadcast partners for the XFL, but it’s possible that Fox, which is rumored to be buying the rights to the WWE’s “SmackDown” program, or NBC, which is said to be retaining rights to “Monday Night Raw,” could factor in.