ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM/CBSSPORTS.COM) – The pandemic cut the league’s season short and there was a bankruptcy filing in April, but the XFL will live on, thanks to another WWE legend taking the majority stake in the football league — but this time it’s not Vince McMahon. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, RedBird Capital and Dany Garcia teamed up to purchase the XFL for approximately $15 million just hours before the league was set for auction.
RedBird Capital is an investment firm that focuses on providing flexible and long-term capital to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses, and the XFL will be its latest challenge. Garcia, Johnson’s business partner and ex-wife, will also be a stakeholder in the league.
The transaction is subject to bankruptcy court approval at a hearing this Friday, Aug. 7 and, assuming that closing conditions are satisfied, is expected to close on or shortly after Aug. 21.
With my trail blazing partner @DanyGarciaCo & Red Bird Capital, we have acquired the XFL.
With gratitude & passion I’ve built a career with my own two hands and will apply these callouses to our @xfl2020 brand.
Excited to create something special for the fans! #XFL #fullcircle pic.twitter.com/LprJ6HjglD
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) August 3, 2020
“The acquisition of the XFL with my talented partners, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale, is an investment for me that’s rooted deeply in two things — my passion for the game and my desire to always take care of the fans,” Johnson said in a press release. “With pride and gratitude for all that I’ve built with my own two hands, I plan to apply these callouses to the XFL, and look forward to creating something special for the players, fans, and everyone involved for the love of football.”
We love Dwayne Johnson. He is infinitely wise, handsome, and is kind to children and animals.
This is not an attempt to suck up to the new boss. #XFL
— XFL (@realXFLfootball) August 3, 2020
Johnson is the latest WWE figurehead to own the XFL after WWE chairman and Vince McMahon had two attempts at the league. McMahon formed a partnership with Dick Ebersol and NBC in 2001, which was run as a joint venture before the league folded after one season. McMahon, also the founder and owner of Alpha Entertainment, revived the league for the 2020 season, but that second attempt was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic after five weeks.