St. Louis has emerged as the proving ground for the XFL.
The Battlehawks’ first home game against the Arlington Renegades on Sunday at The Dome — where the NFL’s Rams played before moving to Los Angeles — set an attendance record for the XFL with 38,310 fans.
The Rams played in St. Louis from 1995 to 2015, winning Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta on Jan. 30, 2000.
That’s nearly half of Week 4’s season-high attendance of 75,000 across the league’s four games. For the year, attendance is more than 220,000.
The high attendance doesn’t seem to be slowing anytime soon, which bodes well for the league as a whole. St. Louis has more than 18,000 season-ticket holders — more than double the 2020 edition — and has already sold more than 27,000 seats for its second home game on Saturday.
The city is also the top XFL market by ticket revenue and local partnerships.
TV ratings through the first three weeks of the season, however, have been a different story. After a slow start to the new season, ratings declined by 50% from Week 1 to Week 2. In Week 3, viewership dropped 11% compared to Week 2.
After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2020 due to pandemic-related effects, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dany Garcia, and RedBird Capital Partners purchased the XFL for $15 million in August of that year from WWE founder Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment.
In May 2022, the league struck a multiyear deal with Disney to show all 43 games across its family of channels including ABC, ESPN networks, and FX.