Tampa soon will have a second professional football team.
The XFL is coming to the bay area in February 2020, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.
The league, backed by World Wrestling Entertainment chairman Vince McMahon, isn't scheduled to make an official announcement about team locations until Wednesday, but phone numbers for each of the eight host cities temporarily appeared on XFL.com on Friday.
When the Times called the number for the Tampa Bay team, a league executive said the following in a recorded message:
"Hello, this XFL commissioner Oliver Luck. Thanks for calling XFL Tampa Bay. We're excited to call Raymond James Stadium home when the league launches in 2020, and we appreciate your support."
The Buccaneers, who play their home games at the stadium during the NFL season, declined to comment Saturday. The Tampa Sports Authority, the entity that manages the stadium, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis, Seattle and Washington also appeared on the website. Team nicknames, logos and uniforms have not been revealed.
The XFL is planning on playing a 10-game regular season after the NFL's Super Bowl, with two semifinal playoff games and a championship game to follow. Teams will be allowed to have 40 to 45 players on their active rosters.
The league is calling itself a complement, not a competitor, to the NFL and college football.
"We will present a shorter, faster-paced, family-friendly and easier to understand game," McMahon said in January. "It's still football. But it's professional football reimagined."
This is the second go-round for the XFL, which McMahon, with the help of television partner NBC, originally formed in 2001. NBC pulled out of the project after one season, and the league ceased operations shortly thereafter.
Contact Thomas Bassinger at email@example.com. Follow @tometrics.