Kitty Ratcliffe, president of Explore St. Louis speaks at the XFL announcement.

(XFL, YouTube)

OFFICIAL: St. Louis Among 8 Cities to Host XFL in 2020

As KMOX reported last week, St. Louis is among the 8 cities that will host a XFL team when the revamped league beings in 2020.

December 05, 2018 - 8:18 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) updated - Kitty Ratcliffe of Explore St. Louis took the stage at MetLife Stadium and spoke about her excitement to bring professional football back to the gateway city. She also said she brought with her "greetings and thanks" from St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, who could not be at Wednesday's announcment in New York.

"We believe St. Louisans will take to this reimagined brand of football as well as they have taken to, well, every WWE event that's ever been held in St. Louis," Ratcliffe says.

St. Louis is among the eight cities who will be handed the reigns to a professional football franchise, set to begin play in the XFL in the spring of 2020. The other XFL frachies will be hosted in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington D.C.

Ratcliffe takes the stage just after the 1:02:00 mark in the video below. She was joined by Andrew Leonard, chairman of the board of Explore St. Louis on stage, and in the audience were geneal manager of The Dome at America's Center Matthew Dewey, and from Lou Fusz Athletic vice president and manager director Dan Gargan and director of football Marc “Bridge” Lillibridge. The former site of the St. Louis Rams practice facility in Earth City is currently owned by Lou Fusz and it will serve as the practice facility for St. Louis' new XFL team.

Fans can begin to put a deposit on season tickets at The Dome at America's Center, which will host games when the season kicks off one week after the Super Bowl in 2020. The deposite is $50 and non-refundable. Also on sale at are t-shirts, hoodies and hats with "St. Louis" and "XFL" signage together. 

Related story: Best Team Names for St. Louis' Coming XFL Team

This new XFL isn't expected to be same as the league that folded after one season in 2001. 

That version, which was also owned by Vince McMahon of the WWE was known for its jersey nicknames, raunchy skits, and pro wrestling flair is not returning in 2020. Although we don't know all of the details, this league is expected to be a more conservative incarnation.

All the teams will be owned by the league, but St. Louis' team is expected to be playing its five home games at The Dome at America's Center, a source confirmed to KMOX on November 27. 

The XFL has made some changes since it folded the first time in 2001, when wrestling tycoon Vince McMahon first introduced the country to the XFL. The new league will initially have eight teams with 40-man rosters – McMahon will again be in charge of the league, but former NFL quarterback Oliver Luck will come in to be the CEO and commissioner.

Related story: Football League Passed On St. Louis, No Availability At The Dome

McMahon says character is as important as the quality of the player, so no criminality will be tolerated – players will also be required to stand for the national anthem. 

This is the second new professional league coming to the U.S., as the Alliance of American Football will begin play in 2019, one week after the Super Bowl.  

The AAF reportedly had interest in using St. Louis for neutral site games, but "due to contracts already signed" the Dome was not a viable option.