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  • Tuesday, June 13, 2000

    XFL to play in Soldier Field

     CHICAGO (AP) -- Da Bears will have some company.
     
     The XFL, a new pro football league owned by the World Wrestling Federation and NBC, picked Chicago as one of eight cities to get a team.
     
     Although still without a name or coaching staff, it has a five-game contract to play its home games at Soldier Field.
     
     Ken Valdiserri, a former head of marketing and media relations for the Bears, was hired as general manager. Quintin Smith, a former Bears wide receiver and ex-scout for the Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings, was hired as player personnel director.
     
     WWF chairman Vince McMahon said fans don't have to worry about staged events like pro wrestling.
     
     "WWF is strictly entertainment," he said. "This is strictly sport."
     
     Other XFL teams are expected to be announced for New York; Washington; Miami; Orlando, Fla.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; and one other city.
     
     Memphis apparently is in the running for a franchise. A news conference in Memphis is planned for June 21, XFL spokesman Steve Griffith said.
     
     He said the league is holding news conferences in cities that will get teams, but he wouldn't elaborate on Memphis specifically.
     
     The league is to open play Feb. 1 for a 10-week season. The games will be played on Saturday nights and televised on NBC, UPN and a cable outlet to be determined, XFL president Basil V. DeVito said.



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