The MLFB has announced its plans to play in 2021. Since the virus has become a major influence in sports today, several leagues have decided to at the very least change their operating procedures.
Recently we have also seen that the CFL has plans to return next year, after canceling the 2020 season. Free agency will open in February, with many players already announcing their return.
The XFL decided to make 2021 their ramp-up period, preparing for a 2022 return. This has left the door open for other spring leagues to take center-stage.
The MLFB is one of them. CEO Frank Murtha has began talking about plans for next season. Training camp would begin in April, at their headquarters in Lakewood Ranch, FL.
The publically traded league plans to have the regular season in May, play through June, with a championship in the beginning of July.
Although COVID-19 still controls the fate, playing in a bubble is not being considered at this point.
The league has trademarks for 10 teams, but for now, 6 will be used for the inaugural season. We don’t know which teams will be chosen, but it’s likely to be the southern-most teams, to keep travel and costs to a minimum.
The current team names that have been registered are:
- Alabama Airborne
- Arkansas Attack
- Florida Fusion
- Northwest Empire
- Ohio Union
- Oklahoma Nation
- Oregon Crash
- Texas Independence
- Utah Stand
- Virginia Armada
The cities were chosen similar to the AAF concept, to not be in current NFL markets. The idea behind it was to give these areas much-needed professional sports, and revenue.
The MLFB will operate on a strict $30 million budget, so as not to get itself into trouble financially. Players will be paid somewhere between $2500-$3500 per game, with a $1000 bonus for wins.
I asked Murtha about coaches, since those would need to be lined up ahead of players, and for now all that he could say was that they have talked to some candidates, but would rather make sure they had their plans solidified before officially offering jobs.
He was able to say that they are looking more at established coaches that can teach to head up teams, while having younger guys in more of a developmental position.
The league isn’t just about helping players get better, but also coaches, team executives, and officials. A more clear announcement could be coming in the next few weeks.
The XFL and the AAF proved the concept, both leagues were hits with fans. If we’ve learned anything during this NFL season, these leagues provide players opportunities they may not have without game film.
XFL News Hub will follow the league as some XFL players are sure to give it a try.