It has been almost a year since the AAF, the Alliance of American Fooball, dissolved before even reaching the playoffs stage. Many fans feared the XFL would face a similiar fate. Now that all XFL teams have played two home games, we will take a look at how the XFL compares to the AAF popularity-wise, by looking at their attendances and social media following.
XFL vs AAF: Social Media
The XFL teams dwarf their AAF counterparts when it comes to their popularity on social media. The average XFL team has 84,268 followers on Instagram (as of March 1st 2019): Almost 30,000 more than the 54,648 followers the XFL teams had on average in April. It is important to note that the AAF was eight weeks into their season at that point, while the XFL is only four weeks under way.
Not a single XFL team currently has a lower amount of followers on Instagram than the AAFs average of 54,648 in its heyday (The teams lost a significant amount of followers after the league folded). Only two XFL teams had more followers than the least followed XFL team LA Wildcats: Orlando Apollos and Birmingham Iron. With the exception of LA Wildcats and New York Guardians, all XFL teams already have more Instagram followers than the most followed AAF team Birmingham Iron had before the league folded.
Combined top 10 AAF/XFL Instagram followers
XFL vs AAF: Attendance
Attendance-wise, the XFL’s figures have been superior to those of the AAF aswell. The average XFL franchise had an average of 18,631 attendance in their first two home games, compared to the AAF’s 15,891. Out of the eight XFL teams, it is yet again the LA Wildcats who are performing the poorest in this segment with an average of 13,595. The St. Louis Battlehawks played a big part in the XFL’s high attendance numbers with an average of 28,541 over their home games. An average higher than the San Anonio Commander’s 28,517.
Combined top 10 XFL/AAF avg. attendances
Overall, the XFL has outperformed the AAF in both attendances and social media followers. Their partnerships with ESPN/ABC and Fox have undoubtedly been a big factor in the XFL’s succes on social media. The AAF did not reach nearly as many people with their TNT and NFL Network partnerships.