It is too early to draw conclusions about whether the XFL can succeed, but based on attendance at the two stadiums that hosted the XFL games on Saturday, the new league has some passionate fans, but not many.
In both games, one presented by DC Defenders and another by Houston Roughnecks, it was evident from the noise of the crowd on the television broadcast that fans were interested. The DC crowd, in particular, seemed more excited than the crowd at the Washington NFL games last season.
However, the attendance was small: DC attracted 17,163 fans to Audi Field and Houston attracted an announced crowd of 17,815 to the TDECU stadium.
There was a lot to like on the first day of the new XFL. The throwing rule combines the emotion and safety of the player in a way that the NFL has tried and failed to do. The options to go for 1, 2 or 3 after a touchdown make some intriguing strategic decisions. Listening to audio from game calls is fun for home fans.
But will the league last longer than the season in which the XFL lasted in its previous incarnation? They will need to attract a constant audience, in the stadium and especially on television, to do so.