The XFL picks St. Louis as one of eight franchises

St. Louis football fans still don’t have an NFL team but pro football will return to the city with Vince McMahon’s XFL.

The league founded by the WWE mogul announced Wednesday that St. Louis and seven other cities -- Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington, D.C -- will get XFL teams.

The St. Louis team will play in The Dome at America’s Center, where the St. Louis Rams played in downtown St. Louis. The team’s name was not announced.

“We are proud to restore the River City’s rightful place among pro football cities and we will not stop there,” the XFL said in a statement. “We pledge to bring St. Louis a team deserving of a passionate and football-starved fan base. In 2020, St. Louis will once again have its day in the world of professional football.”

Members of Explore St. Louis, which is overseen by the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, attended the XFL news conference in New Jersey for the announcement of the eight cities to get XFL teams.

“We believe that St. Louisans will take to this new brand of reimagined football as much as they have taken to well, every WWE event that’s ever been held in St. Louis,” said Kitty Ratcliffe, president of Explore St. Louis, during the news conference.

“The XFL will offer fast-paced games with fewer play stoppages and simpler rules,” the league said in a news release.

It did not give details on how the league will be different than the NFL but said research is underway.

Also, the league said tickets will have an “affordable price” but the ticket price range was not announced.

McMahon is “personally funding” the new league.

Here’s where the other XFL teams will play: Dallas – Globe Life Park; Houston – TDECU Stadium; Los Angeles – StubHub Center; New York – MetLife Stadium; Seattle – CenturyLink Field; Tampa Bay – Raymond James Stadium; and Washington, D.C. – Audi Field.

All of the XFL cities already have NFL teams except for St. Louis.

The NFL Cardinals played in St. Louis from 1960 to 1987 before relocating to Arizona. After a seven-year hiatus from the NFL, fans got another team to support when the Los Angeles Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995 and then won the Super Bowl after the 1999 season. But to the dismay of fans across the region, the Rams moved back to Los Angeles for the 2016 season.

The XFL kicks off in February 2020 after the Super Bowl. The league will start with eight teams, 45-man active rosters and a 10-week regular-season schedule, with a postseason consisting of two semifinal playoff games and a championship game.

The league previously had one season in 2001.

Mike Koziatek joined the Belleville News-Democrat in 1998 as an assistant editor and is now a reporter covering the Belleville area. He graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee and is from St. Louis.