Local businesses express excitement over the return of XFL football

Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 7:30 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Inside Arch Apparel in Brentwood, t-shirts and hats now feature a familiar rallying cry, ushering the return of St. Louis XFL football.

“This was our top selling design in 2020, the rallying cry of Ka-Kaw and the BattleHawks,” said Kirsten Coonen, Senior Director of Marketing and Engagement at Arch Apparel.

Coonen says their staff has been celebrating since the XFL announced St. Louis as one of the eight cities that will now host an XFL football team for the 2023 season. They quickly launched their XFL merchandise as soon as the announcement came out.

“About like six weeks ago when we heard rumors that it might be coming back to St. Louis, we’re like, ‘We have to be ready’,” said Coonen. “We’ve had a lot of really good responses to it. St. Louis is excited. We’re excited.”

She says the inaugural year of XFL football in the metro back in 2020 was one of the company’s best years in terms of sales.

“I think the second home game was one of our biggest Saturdays outside of Black Friday and that type of thing,” said Coonen. “So, it was really great to see the support on our end from the people of St. Louis.”

“We outperformed every other team during their inaugural season, so why not bring it back here to St. Louis,” said Brian Hall.

Hall is the Chief Marketing Officer for Explore St. Louis. He says 30,000 seats for the first two games played at the Dome at America’s Center in 2020 were sold out. They were set to sell up to 40,000 for the third game before the COVID-19 pandemic cut the season short.

“The economic potential is, of course, pronounced,” said Hall. “We’ll see as time goes on how many people, how many fans, actually travel in from outside of the region, [how] many hotel rooms they use in the future, all to be determined.”

Hall believes both XFL’s return and the start of St. Louis SC soccer in 2023 will enhance business activity, create new jobs and welcome new visitors to the metro.

“It’s going to do amazing things for the city, the county and St. Louis as a whole,” said Coonen.

Yet, St. Louisans are wondering whether they will continue to rep the BattleHawks moniker for this upcoming season.

News 4 asked the team’s head coach, Anthony Becht, who says it is something to be continued.

“That information is vital. Everybody wants to know. I just know this. I can tell the fan base they’re going to be happy,” said Becht.

“We’d loved to see BattleHawks come back, but we’re excited for the team itself to be back most importantly,” said Coonen.