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XFL Announces 2023 Opening Weekend Schedule Headlined by Vipers vs. Renegades

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 5, 2023

Courtesy XFL

The XFL rolled out its schedule for the 2023 season Thursday with action slated to kick off Feb. 18.

Here's how the opening weekend shakes out:

  • Feb. 18: Vegas Vipers vs. Arlington Renegades at 3 p.m. ET 
  • Feb. 18: Orlando Guardians vs. Houston Roughnecks at 8:30 p.m. ET 
  • Feb. 19: St. Louis Battlehawks vs. San Antonio Brahmas at 3 p.m. ET 
  • Feb. 19: Seattle Sea Dragons vs. D.C. Defenders at 8 p.m. ET

The regular season runs for 10 weeks and comes to an end April 23. The top four teams qualify for the semifinals before the championship game May 13.

An investment group that includes Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is hopeful the third time is the charm for the XFL.

The brainchild of former WWF/WWE chairman Vince McMahon, the XFL launched in 2001 to significant fanfare. Interest quickly waned, though, and the league folded three months later. The New York Times' Richard Sandomir reported WWE and NBC each lost around $35 million after taxes.

McMahon relaunched the XFL in 2018 with a first season planned for 2020 and appeared to have learned from his mistakes. He said he expected to spend around $500 million in the league's first three years, signaling a more deliberate, long-term approach.

However, the XFL suspended its 2020 season in March 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. One month later, McMahon's Alpha Entertainment filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, throwing the league's future into doubt. Johnson, business partner Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital bought the XFL for $15 million that August.

In October, the XFL announced the eight teams it will carry into its 2023 relaunch, and it staged its player draft in November. AJ McCarron, Martavis Bryant, Marquette King, Vic Beasley and Matt Elam are among the notable names who'll take part.