BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — With news that the twice-defunct XFL has recently been purchased by a group for $15 million, the president of the Birmingham City Council is hoping to be able to bring the franchise back to the city.
In a statement released Monday, President William Parker said he was seeking a meeting with the new XFL leadership, which includes a group involving actor Dwayne Johnson, to discuss bringing a franchise to Birmingham. During the XFL’s first run in 2001, the Birmingham Thunderbolts was one of eight teams across the country to play in the league before it folded after a year.
In 2018, the Alliance for American Football selected Birmingham as one of eight cities across the country to start a professional football team. The Birmingham Iron played their games at Legion Field. By 2019, the league had folded.
Last year, the XFL started up again, but did not include Birmingham. During the season, Parker and other council members worked on plans to bring a franchise to the city. However, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the league filed for bankruptcy and shuttered.
“Over the years, we’ve worked hard to position Birmingham as a sports destination,” Parker said in the statment. “By having the XFL at Legion Field, we’d be able to keep major sporting events at the historic stadium year round since the league plays in the spring. I will be reaching out to the leadership at the XFL to schedule meetings in which we can discuss the ways that both the league and Birmingham can mutually benefit from this exciting new venture.”
Parker said the new team could play at Legion Field, the same place where the Thunderbolts played.
“For the last two decades, Birmingham has led the nation in college football viewership and remains a fertile market for the sport,” Parer said.
No teams or schedules have been announced for the newly-reformed XFL.