The DC Defenders are a professional American football team based in Washington, D.C. The team is an owned-and-operated member of the new XFL founded by Vince McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment. The team will play its home games at Audi Field, a soccer-specific stadium owned by D.C. United and originally built by Major League Soccer's D.C. United, who lease the land from the District of Columbia. At 20,000 seats, Audi Field is the smallest stadium in the XFL.
|Short name||DCD, DC|
|Team history||DC Defenders|
|Based in||Washington, D.C., U.S.|
|Head coach||Pep Hamilton|
|General manager||Pep Hamilton|
Washington, D.C. joins Seattle, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, and Dallas as the league's inaugural cities. All teams will have 40-man active rosters and play a 10-week season. Vince McMahon said "the game will feature simplified rules for a faster pace of game that should complete in under three hours", and will draw from former college and NFL players.
On February 21, 2019, the team hired Pep Hamilton, who most recently was an assistant with the Michigan Wolverines football team, as their first head coach. Hamilton is an alumnus of Howard University and was familiar to XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck through Hamilton's work with Luck's son, A former NFL Quarterback, Andrew.
The Baltimore-Washington Metroplex has a history of several teams in alternative professional football. The USFL had the Washington Federals (a mostly unsuccessful franchise) in its first two years. Then the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars moved from Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Byrd Stadium in College Park, Maryland in 1985, winning the USFL's final Championship. The Canadian Football League's Baltimore CFL Colts/Stallions were the only successful American team in the league during its two-year existence in the mid-1990s (and were the only American-based team to win the Grey Cup, the CFL's championship). Indoor teams to have played in Washington include the Washington Commandos and the Washington Valor (which folded two months before the Defenders' first game) of the Arena Football League, and the D.C. Armor of American Indoor Football Association, in addition to several teams based in Maryland.
DC Defenders staff
DC Defenders roster
- "DC Defenders' uniforms, helmet". XFL.com (Press release). December 3, 2019. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
- Maake, Katishi (29 March 2019). "D.C.'s new XFL team taps a local sports veteran". Washington Business Journal.
- Staff, KOMO (5 December 2018). "Seattle chosen as one of 8 inaugural teams for new XFL football league". KOMO.