After suffering from the wages of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the XFL seems to begin its return to the football scene, this time in the hands of its new owners, including Dwayne Johnson. The league was first founded and funded by WWE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Vince McMahon.
Sportico.com reported the latest developments on the football league:
The XFL has been sold to a group that includes former WWE star Dwayne “The Rock’’ Johnson, giving the bankrupt football league the kind of star power that may draw even non-sports fans.
Johnson, an actor and producer who played college football at the University of Miami, teamed up with Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital to buy the league just hours before a planned auction was scheduled to begin.
They paid $15 million, splitting it evenly. Johnson’s business partner, Dany Garcia, who is also his ex-wife, will be a stakeholder as well.
The XFL filed for bankruptcy in April after the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the cancellation of its inaugural season. The football league got off to a promising start in terms of television audience and also acquired a broadcast agreement with Fox.
The acquisition of the football league is the latest sports-related move for Cardinale and RedBird, which recently bought the French soccer team, Toulouse. In addition, Cardinale, along with Oakland Athletics’ executive Billy Beane created a special purpose acquisition company that will focus on buying companies in sports, media, and data analytics.
The XFL has also served as a pathway for unheralded players across the country to make it to the biggest professional football stage in the NFL. A handful of former XFL players have already signed contracts in the NFL namely, quarterbacks PJ Walker (Carolina Panthers) and Jordan Ta’amu (Kansas City Chiefs), and cornerback Deatrick Nichols (New Orleans Saints) among others.
The presence of Hollywood star Dwayne Johnson will only contribute to the betterment of the XFL and its efforts to return to the football spotlight.