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XFL’s Vegas Vipers get home, schedule for 2023 season

Updated January 5, 2023 - 7:31 pm

The XFL’s Vegas Vipers finally have a home — and a schedule — for the 2023 season.

League officials confirmed the Vipers will play their five-game home slate at Cashman Field, with the first home game Feb. 25 against the D.C. Defenders.

“We’ve had our football people there, our broadcast people, we’ve had numerous on-site visits,” XFL president Russ Brandon said of the downtown venue. “It’s going to be pretty cool how we’re able to put it all together, and I think the fans will really enjoy the intimate experience there as well.”

While the process of selecting a venue was a long and tedious one filled with speculation, Brandon said the league was pleased with the outcome.

“It wasn’t difficult,” he said. “It took a lot of time based on all the moving parts throughout our ecosystem.

“Everyone is really excited about the XFL being in Vegas. It’s a hallmark market for us that we’re excited to build and grow and have sustainable long-term success. … I think the XFL will represent Vegas well.”

The Vipers, coached by Pro Football Hall of Famer Rod Woodson, will open the season in the eight-team league at the Arlington (Texas) Renegades on Feb. 18 and play their first home game in Week 2 of the 10-week slate.

They return to Cashman Field the following week against Seattle, then play three consecutive home games from March 18 to April 1.

Four teams will make the playoffs. Semifinal games are scheduled for April 29 and 30, with the championship game May 13.

“We have a very robust schedule not only for Vegas but the league in general,” Brandon said of a 43-game season that will air on ABC, ESPN and FX.

The XFL spoke to officials representing several venues in the market but faced numerous hurdles. One of them was finding open dates that worked with the leaguewide schedule.

The Vipers will share Cashman Field with the Las Vegas Lights of the United Soccer League. Brandon credited Lights owner Brett Lashbrook, among others, for their cooperation to get the deal done.

“From our standpoint, when you’re a third tenant or even fourth in some cases, there’s a lot of moving parts, and it’s a big jigsaw puzzle to put the schedule together,” Brandon said.

Brandon denied online speculation that the league considered having the Vipers play their home games in Texas for a season while they searched for a permanent home.

“That was never in our mindset at all,” he said. “It was a complex process. Looking back it was sort of fun, but at the time, I wouldn’t have told you that. We just had so many things we were working toward.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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