By Jeremy Gonzalez, co-sports editor
Super Bowl LIV came and passed, with the Kansas City Chiefs crowned as champs. But just because the NFL season has ended doesn’t mean professional football has stopped as well.
The XFL, a league revived by billionaire Vince McMahon after a failed trial run in 2001, is officially underway, kicking off right after the Super Bowl and finishing in May, with new and exciting rules to keep the game as entertaining as possible for the average football fan to enjoy.
Los Angeles was lucky enough to be one of the eight cities to get a team, and the Wildcats play right next door to our campus at Dignity Health Sports Park. While the team only has five home games, and two of them have already been played, fellow Toros should attempt to go catch a game at the Dig while they can.
It helps that Toro nation receives FREE TICKETS for every home game. You read that correctly.
According to a campus-wide email sent by University Communications, “Toro students, staff and faculty can pick up two (2) free tickets per game at the Dignity Health Sports Park box office (must show valid CSUDH ID).”
It is a bold move for the league, as it is unproven and cannot predict the popularity of the league in the near future. They’re taking a short-term hit by giving away free tickets, believing that people will be hooked in the long run.
While it’s fantastic that Toros can obtain free tickets to the games, the move reignites the relationship between CSUDH and the teams that inhabit Dignity Health Sports Park. The Wildcats offer a free pair of tickets, MLS-side Los Angeles Galaxy offer discounted tickets through a special link for Toros, and yet the Los Angeles Chargers couldn’t even offer discounted tickets for the Toros when they played at the Dig. They probably should have since they had trouble selling out a soccer stadium that was half the size of other NFL stadiums across the country.
The complimentary tickets will be available on the Tuesday before each home game on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once the comp tickets run out, they will not be available for that week’s game. Even if all the comp tickets are gone, tickets for the Wildcats game against the Defenders were going for as low as $9 on Gametime.
Prior to the start of the season, XFL analysts predicted that the Wildcats were going to miss the postseason and finish third in the XFL West division with a 4-6 record.
The team recently had their second home game on Feb. 23 against the D.C. Defenders, where the Wildcats routed the Defenders 39-9. The Defenders were considered one of the league’s top teams and remained undefeated until they faced the Wildcats.
Los Angeles quarterback Josh Johnson lit up the D.C. defense, completing 72 percent of his passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns. The fans witnessed history as they saw the Wildcats get the first win in franchise history. Louie G, a famous Los Angeles radio personality and in-stadium host for the Wildcats games, constantly had the crowd pumped and told everyone to “put their claws up” for the team.
So far, the team is living up to the preseason predictions as the Wildcats are sitting in third in the XFL West with a 1-3 overall record nearing the halfway mark of the season.
The remaining home games at Dignity Health Sports Park will take place on March 8, March 29 and April 5.
Swap those Toro horns for Wildcat claws and go check out a game, not every school campus can boast that a professional football team plays next door to them.