St. Louis expects 28,000 for BattleHawks home opener

Mike Florio

Pro football is back in St. Louis. And St. Louis is supporting it, zealously.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the XFL’s BattleHawks expect to have 28,000 for Sunday’s home opener against the New York Guardians, filling the lower bowl at the Dome at America’s Center (formerly the Edward Jones Dome), where the Rams once played. Tickets aren’t being sold for the upper deck.

The BattleHawks also have drawn bigger local TV ratings than the NHL’s St. Louis Blues, which won the Stanley Cup a year ago. Per the Post-Dispatch, in XFL’s Week One 7.4 percent of the local TVs tune in to the BattleHawks’ game on a Sunday afternoon. The prior evening, the Blues drew only 4.8 percent.

In Week Two, the BattleHawks generated a 5.3 local rating; the Blues pulled a 3.6 in comparison for games that were played at the same time, 6:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.

This is all very good news for the XFL, which placed seven of its eight initial franchises in cities that have NFL teams. St. Louis is the only non-NFL XFL city, but its status as a spurned NFL city could be helping the XFL cause — and it could lead to the upper deck of the Dome eventually being opened.