Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s XFL turned in a miserable financial result in its first year back from hiatus. The league posted a staggering $60 million loss in their first operational year since 2020.

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Financial troubles have plagued the XFL since its inception in 2001, and it has since filed for bankruptcy twice. It was brought back from the first shutdown in 2020 shortly before reaching a similar demise stemming from the global pandemic. 

That second bankruptcy appeared to be more unlucky than unsuccessful, when they closed up operations after only five weeks from the coronavirus. There had been many positive improvements with the second iteration, which Johnson likely noticed when he purchased the rights to the league for $15 million later in 2020 and looked to start it back up with engaging fan support.  

One bright spot has been the St. Louis Battlehawks, who have reached sellout capacity in several home games in the 2023 campaign. The Battlehawks took over for the embattled St. Louis Rams, who jetted off to Los Angeles seven years ago. There is still a strong fan base in the St. Louis area with a thirst for football, which showed in their record-breaking XFL attendance numbers this year.

Johnson will have to attempt to replicate the St. Louis performance in other markets if he wants to turn the loss deficit around in 2024. When asked about his thoughts on the financial turmoil, he focused on the long game.

“This is not just an endeavor that's going to fill up a portfolio and one day we flip it and we're out,” Johnson said, per Forbes' Jabari Young. “This is legacy. This is the long game.”

Of course, there are many issues when restarting an entire sporting league, that they will hope to remedy this in the coming seasons. But it is safe to say, the XFL did not want to come back with the major loss and job cuts.