Before the 2001 season began there was already question if Las Vegas could support a professional sports team due to past failed attempts with: Las Vegas Americans (Soccer-MISL- 1984-85), Las Vegas Dustdevils (Soccer-CISL-1994-1995), Las Vegas Posse (Football-CFL-1994) Las Vegas Quicksilvers (Soccer-NASL-1976-1978), Las Vegas Seagulls (Soccer-ASL-1979), Las Vegas Sting (Football-Arena Football League-1994-1995) and Las Vegas Thunder (IHL-1993-1999) The Outlaws were sponsored by Cox Communications, New York-New York Hotel & Casino, Station Casinos, PacifiCare Health Systems, and Findlay Toyota. Just like the Posse (and the later Locomotives), the Outlaws had a difficult time selling tickets. For the home opener against the Hitmen 13,700 tickets were sold for a stadium that seats 36,000. There were only 7,000 estimated season ticket holders. Compared to the rest of the league, the Outlaws’ attendance was about average, at 22,000 fans per game. They were one of two teams (the league-leading San Francisco Demons being the other) to consistently play in a stadium that was more than half full. The league-leading defense, led by Defensive Coordinator Mark Criner, was nicknamed “The Dealers of Doom.”
Among the team’s players were the XFL’s most well-known, Rod Smart (later with the National Football League’s Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, and the Oakland Raiders), who went by the nickname of “He Hate Me”, which appeared on the back of his jersey. (He was originally going to put “They Hate Me”, but there wasn’t enough room.) Coached by former Boise State and Scottish Claymores head coach Jim Criner, the Outlaws competed in the XFL’s only season, held in the spring of 2001. The team encouraged their fans to come up with a nickname. They selected the “Dealers of Doom Defense”. After a strong start, the Outlaws lost their last three games to finish in last place in the division with a record of 4-6-0, just one game out of a playoff spot.
Despite having a two-year contract, NBC announced shortly after the season that it was getting out, as the season’s later games had garnered the lowest ratings for a major American television network since the Nielsen ratings had begun tracking them, and the league folded shortly afterwards.
The team was the centerpiece of the 2003 book about the XFL, Long Bomb: How the XFL Became TV’s Biggest Fiasco. It was written by Brett Forrest of Details magazine.
2001 / XFL
2001 / Las Vegas Outlaws
Outlaws – The team name references a person who has broken the law, especially one who remains at large or is a fugitive.
XFL Championships 0
2001 / Sam Boyd Stadium
2001 / World Wrestling Federation
2001 / Jim Criner
*Blue is this team’s history