This weekend’s anticipated debut of Vince McMahon’s revamped XFL proved successful, particularly in the Washington area. The D.C. Defenders saw their demand for tickets skyrocket and garnered price tags that exponentially outranked figures the Washington Redskins pulled only months ago.
According to USA Today, fans utilizing the secondary ticket market paid anywhere from $130 to $675 for entry into Audi Field. By harsh comparison, Redskins tickets were selling for as little as $5 in November when it became clear that their hopes for a successful 2019 season had slipped away.
It’s cheaper to go to a Redskins game pic.twitter.com/zArVTMftpF
— Steven Ruiz (a lifelong DC Defenders fan) (@theStevenRuiz) February 8, 2020
More than 17,000 fans packed the seats of D.C.’s Audi Field to see the Defenders earn a 31-19 opening win over the Seattle Dragons. Officials expect even greater attendance this weekend then the club takes the field again against the New York Guardians. While the D.C. area made the biggest first impression, the league’s opening weekend garnered plenty of excitement throughout the country – a momentum XFL executives are hoping to keep.
“For us, if the fans who attend and watch at home feel as though it was a good football game and they had a fun time either watching or being in this awesome venue with us, that’s success,” XFL chief operating office Jeffrey Pollack told The Associated Press. “We’re taking a long term view in this. Success ultimately will not be measured in the first game or the first weekend or the first season.”
“Our expectation for this first season is for football fans to simply give us a look, give us a chance, sample us. We understand that fandom is earned. It’s not given. We think that if you love football, you’re going to love the XFL.”
The 2020 XFL season is slated to run through mid-April before a two-week playoff period begins.