Tampa Bay Vipers
The Tampa Bay Vipers are a professional American football team based in Tampa, Florida. The team is an owned-and-operated member of the new XFL founded by Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment and plays its home games at Raymond James Stadium, along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL and the University of South Florida Bulls.
|Based in||Tampa, Florida|
|Home stadium||Raymond James Stadium|
|Head coach||Marc Trestman|
|General manager||Marc Trestman|
|Team president||Josh Bullock|
|Owner(s)||Alpha Acquico, LLC|
|Colors||Green, gold, white|
Tampa Bay joined Seattle, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. as the league's inaugural cities. Teams 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 draw from former college and NFL players.
In contrast to other XFL teams, the Vipers were granted three years rent-free at Raymond James Stadium as part of the team's first lease agreement.
They won their first game in week 4, shutting out the DC Defenders 25-0.
The Central Florida corridor has been a popular location for alternative professional football since the 1960s. Two teams in particular had success in Tampa Bay: the Tampa Bay Storm were one of the Arena Football League's most successful and longest-lived franchises, surviving in the city from 1991 until it suspended operations after the 2017 season. The Tampa Bay Bandits were one of the biggest successes in the United States Football League in the 1980s. In addition, the Florida Tuskers of the UFL played one of their games in nearby St. Petersburg.
The original XFL had placed one of its teams, the Orlando Rage, 80 miles up Interstate 4 in Orlando, where that city had openly embraced the league and had some of its best attendance (buoyed in part by Orlando also having the best regular-season record). The former Alliance of American Football placed a team of their own, the Orlando Apollos, in Orlando before the current XFL announced its teams. Shortly before the XFL went bankrupt, it was exploring moving the Vipers to Orlando.
The only other major professional sports team playing in February and March in Tampa is the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League, but the XFL team also faces indirect competition from Major League Baseball's spring training.
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- Breakfast Bonus - Tom McEwen- from TBO.com Sports Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
- Fischer, Ben (April 17, 2020). "Last Call for the XFL". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
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