Maybe this Dragons thing has a shot after all.
The Seattle Dragons, part of the latest attempt at starting a second professional football league, take to the field in front of their home fans for the first time Saturday afternoon when they host the Tampa Bay Vipers at CenturyLink Field.
The Dragons are one of eight teams in the new XFL, which began play last weekend. And, with Seattle coming home for the first time, this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers about their interest level in the Dragons. Here’s what you had to say:
POLL: What is your interest level in the XFL’s Seattle Dragons, the region’s newest pro football team? Full context, including a glance at the team and league, here: https://t.co/FLsbumDp2G
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) February 10, 2020
Add the two up and is seems there’s real interest in the Dragons, as 48% of the responders rated their interest in the team a thumbs up. Of the remaining 52 percent, the vast majority (38%) gave it a thumbs neutral, taking more of a wait-and-see approach, while just 14% gave the Dragons the thumbs down, saying the football market is saturated enough as it is.
So if you’re the Dragons, I would imagine you’re pleased with these results. In addition, I was wondering about what kind of participation level there would be in this poll, as a low turnout could be an indicator regardless of the percentages. But there was a standard number of votes.
Now, attempts at starting a second outdoor pro teams in recent years have been spectacular failures. The first time pro wrestling executive Vince McMahon launched the XFL in 2001 it lasted just once season. The AAF, which was was launched last year, shut down operations before its first season concluded. So history is not in the XFL’s favor.
That said, it seems like last weekend’s inaugural games went as well as could have been hoped. There was a solid turnout of 17,163 for Seattle’s first-ever game, a 31-19 road loss to the DC Defenders last Saturday, and the television broadcast on FOX averaged 3.3 million viewers. The league as a whole averaged 17,454 fans for the four games of its opening weekend.
That’s great in Washington D.C.’s Audi Field, which was built for MLS and has a capacity of 20,000. But what would a crowd like that look like at CenturyLink Field, which has a capacity of 69,000? Maybe the fact that the Dragons opened up additional seating sections for season ticket sales earlier this week is a good sign for the team.
Anyway, we’ll get a better indication at the Dragon’s inaugural home game Saturday. And check back in several weeks down the line. The AAF reported solid numbers in its first weekend, and we saw how long that lasted.