The XFL BattleHawks won their game against the opposing New York Guardians pretty handily with the final score being 29-9 but that wasn’t the big talking point of Sunday's events. It was the fan support.
For the first time since 2016, there was a professional football game in the city of Saint Louis at the Edward-Jones Dome. The official attendance according to the team was 29,554 which is an incredible number for a home-opener of a brand new league team. Of course Rams games when the NFL was still in Saint Louis drew a similar number in terms of available seating but the energy in the dome for the BattleHawks was better than any Rams game in the last ten years in either St.Louis OR Los Angeles.
The XFL has been conservative with stadium operating costs with its teams as the league is still new and just getting their feet wet so only the lower bowl and some premium seating has been available in most stadiums but with the BattleHawks attendance being so good team president Kurt Hunzeker has said the team is considering opening the second level for the BattleHawks third home game for the Los Angeles Wildcats matchup.
Outside of just attendance the actual game experience looked phenomenal. It was loud, it was energetic, fans were waving their rally towels, and fans were dressed in all kinds of team gear. The dome hadn’t seen that kind of support in years. Even the parking lots were full of tailgaters. The XFL brings hope to professional football staying in St.Louis. If the league does last it looks like St.Louis could be the cash cow of the league. The T.V. ratings have been very good so far and attendance across the league is decent. In fact, The BattleHawks have outdrawn the Blues in each game so far. The product will only get better as the league goes on but it needs stable fan support to continue and those two are dependent on each other. Regardless, fans should enjoy the team while they’re here and those players loved seeing how many fans were there greeting them at the stadium entrance and rocking the stadium.
Now, let’s take a moment to talk about our old friend Stan Kroenke. The man that screwed St.Louis out of football and emphasized the narrative that St.Louis isn’t a football town. On a weekend where St.Louis held other Mardi Gras festivities and most people probably had no idea what to expect they still put 30,000 in the dome and stuck it to Kroenke. Many fans punched around Stan Kroenke dolls in the parking lot tailgates or sported jerseys slandering Kroenke. The bands of “Kroenke Sucks!” chants as fans filled in through the doors was a thing of beauty and something many St.Louisans were hoping to see again one day. Spite football is the best football and that showed on Sunday. This city hasn’t forgotten and they’re determined to stick it to Kroenke while his over budget castle in Inglewood continues being built and fans are struggling to support the Rams.
As far as football goes, the BattleHawks are 2-1 and could very well be 3-0 if a couple of calls had gone their way. The offense is fluent but can be stopped at times. Ta’amu is very poised at quarterback and the running game is pretty solid as well led by former Texas A&M running back Christine Michael. The Hawks have a few receivers that can do some damage like L’Dmaian Washington and Alonzo Russel. The defense has been very good and safety Kenny Robinson looks like an NFL player. Honestly wouldn’t bet on him to stick around much longer as he was an NFL prospect but chose to play in the XFL after transferring from West Virginia but wanted to avoid sitting out a year due to NCAA rules. Overall, the BattleHawks look like a well-rounded team and look very disciplined. Get up, get ready, St.Louis! You have a real football team and a league that wants you for the first time in a long time. Enjoy it.