Through the first month of the XFL, no team has quite had a home-field advantage like the St. Louis BattleHawks. There are a few reasons for that. The first is contextual. The Rams moved to Los Angeles four years ago and the city has been starved for professional football ever since. The second is that playing in a dome can help with crowd noise and energy. Finally, and most importantly, the BattleHawks are winning.
The results have showed. Nearly 30,000 fans showed up for the first home game against the New York Guardians in Week 3 and another 27,527 showed up last weekend for St. Louis' game against the Seattle Dragons. Per a BattleHawks spokesperson, those represent two of the three highest-attended XFL games on the season. (The Dragons' home opener was No. 2.)
Now, the BattleHawks are opening the upper deck of The Dome to hold more fans. Their next home game will be on Saturday, March 21, against the Los Angeles Wildcats in Week 7.
🗣️ ST. LOUIS ... you made yourselves heard!— St. Louis BattleHawks (@XFLBattleHawks) March 4, 2020
We are OFFICIALLY opening up seats in the upper deck of The Dome for our week 7 game vs LA on March 21. 👀
Tickets will go on sale this Friday at 10 AM! 🙌
#RockTheDome x #ForTheLoveOfFootball pic.twitter.com/Pcr1nS0Qey
For reference, The Dome can hold about 67,000 fans. Of course, no XFL team is going to reach that amount (at least not for the foreseeable future), but it's a positive sign that fans are embracing pro football not named the NFL. And while other XFL sites like Houston, Dallas and DC haven't quite reached St. Louis-like numbers -- some of that is also related to venue capacity -- there have been some heavily invested crowds all the same.
The XFL isn't looking to make its mark financially through home game attendance, though. The league won't reach NFL levels in that area and it knows that. Moreover, with ongoing concerns about the coronavirus, it's entirely possible attendance plummets. That's something the XFL is monitoring, it said in an email to ProFootballTalk.
Regardless, the XFL acts as a single entity; what's good for St. Louis is good for Tampa Bay, for example. Television, and by some relation, gambling, is where the dollars will be. But if the football is good enough, there's a chance at longevity. And what a potential spike in home attendance means for St. Louis, and for the XFL as a whole, is that the football is good enough to follow in person for a few hours on a spring weekend. That's a start.