While the second spring football league of the year — the USFL — rolls on, it’s worth looking back on the success of the St. Louis Battlehawks of America’s other springtime football league, the XFL.
The Battlehawks, who are coached by Anthony Becht, finished the 2023 season with a 7-3 record — missing out on the league’s four-team postseason by playing in the stacked North Division that had three teams with records matching or exceeding St. Louis’.
While the Arlington Renegades eventually went on to knock off the D.C. Defenders for the XFL Championship, the city of St. Louis showed itself more than capable as an American football market — a half decade after the NFL up and left.
Unfortunately, XFL fans couldn’t bet on their team in the state, as Missouri sports betting again failed to pass the legislature in 2023.
If attendance is any indication, the state missed out on some XFL betting dollars. According to XFL News Hub, the Battlehawks dominated the league’s attendance rankings, averaging just over 35,100 patrons per game.
That figure nearly tripled the next closest team (the San Antonio Brahmas, at 14,983), while St. Louis nearly matched the next three teams in attendance combined (41,562).
BetMissouri.com, which will be the home for Missouri sportsbook promos when wagering does launch, broke down the Battlehawks historic 2023 season, contextualizing the return of American football to the city.
2023 XFL Average Attendance
American Football Still Has Place in St. Louis
While no USFL teams resides in St. Louis, the city has hosted a number of football teams over the last half-decade. (Although there are no Missouri sports betting apps , national operators list Birmingham at +250 as the current USFL favorite for those interested in going to a neighboring state to place a wager).
A trio of indoor football teams, in the Missouri Monsters of the Ultimate Indoor Football League, the St. Louis Attack of the X-League Indoor Football and American Indoor Football leagues and the River City Raiders of Arena Pro Football, called the city home between 2013 and 2017, playing their home games at Family Arena.
St. Louis also briefly was home to an Arena Football League team (the St. Louis Stampede) in 1995 and 1996, adding another football feather in the city’s cap.
The Battlehawks have even returned to the Rams’ old home, playing their games at The Dome at America’s Center, where they drew at least 27,000 fans in each of the team’s five regular season home games this year.
A Year to Remember For Battlehawks
Between the team’s 7-3 regular season record, being the XFL’s attendance leader and landing seven players on the All-XFL teams — it was a 2023 season to remember for the Battlehawks.
Throw in wideout and kick returner Darrius Shepherd being named the XFL’s Special Teams Player of the Year, and you have the correct recipe for a bright future.
While the Arlington Renegades were the champions of the XFL during the 2023 season, there’s no denying that the Battlehawks scored their fair share of victories during their first full season of play in 2023.