Dallas Jackals to be 13th Major League Rugby team in 2021
Major League Rugby, the North American professional rugby union competition, will feature a new Dallas-based franchise in its 2021 campaign.
The city’s Globe Life Park stadium in its Arlington district, with a capacity of 49,500, will play host to the Dallas Jackals, which will become MLR’s 13th side when action resumes in 2021, after the 2020 season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is the second MLR expansion franchise to be announced in the last week, with the LA Giltinis from Los Angeles to also join in 2021.
The Colorado Raptors franchise has withdrawn from the competition because of the impact of the virus.
The Jackals are owned by a group including Neil Leibman, the co-owner of baseball’s Texas Rangers (a team which used to play its games at Globe Life Park), and Donnie Nelson, general manager of NBA basketball's Dallas Mavericks.
George Killebrew, MLR’s commissioner, said: “Dallas has been ready to welcome an MLR team for several years… The Jackals have the recipe for success in MLR - an extremely knowledgeable and experienced ownership group, plans for a stadium, and a mission for youth and community engagement.”
Texas now hosts three MLR teams, with the Jackals joining the Austin Gilgronis and the Houston SaberCats.
The 2020 MLR season, the competition's third, was cancelled in March, after just five weeks of games.
The league has instead launched MLR 2020: Virtual, an esports competition in which teams are competing against each other through the Rugby 20 game, and which is being live-streamed to fans.