Dwayne Johnson is one of the new owners of the XFL. The actor, producer, and former WWE star is part of a group the purchased the failed football league, founded by WWE CEO/chairman Vince McMahon, out of bankruptcy following its failed 2020 return season. Johnson, who played football at the University of Miami before his professional wrestling career, teamed with Gerry Cardinale's RedBird Capital to buy the league hours before it was to go up for auction. The two parties split the $15 million needed to purchase the league. Dany Garcia, Johnson's business partner, who is also his ex-wife, is also a stakeholder in the league.
"For Dwayne, Gerry and myself, this property represents an incredible opportunity. It is the confluence of great passion, tradition and possibility," said Garcia in a press released. "Sports and entertainment are the foundations of the businesses I have built. Melding our expertise combined with our commitment to deliver exciting and inspiring unique content, has us all focused on developing the XFL brand into a multi-media experience that our athletes, partners and fans will proudly embrace and love."
"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," said Johnson. "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."
"It is a privilege to partner with Dany and Dwayne on the acquisition of the XFL," said Cardinale. "Their track record in building dynamic businesses speaks for itself, and their vision and passion for developing the XFL as a world class sports and entertainment property will enable a new future for this organization. As their partner in acquiring and relaunching the XFL, RedBird will bring its own track record and experience in building world class companies in sports and live entertainment to help realize their vision."
"We are grateful for today's outcome," said Jeffrey Pollack, XFL President/COO. "This is a Hollywood ending to our sale process and it is an exciting new chapter for the league. Dwayne, Dany and Gerry are a dream team ownership group and the XFL is in the best possible hands going forward."
The XFL debuted in 2001. It played for a single season before shutting down. McMahon tried to bring it back in 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to play, forcing the league into bankruptcy.
If Johnson and his partners plan to revitalize the XFL for play, they will most likely need to start from the ground up beginning whenever the coronavirus pandemic is under control. Several XFL players have already signed to play in the NFL. These include Houston Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker (now with the Carolina Panthers), St. Louis Battlehawks quarterback Jordan Ta'amu (Kansas City Chiefs), Roughnecks defensive back Deatrick Nichols (New Orleans Saints) and New York Guardians defensive back Dravon Askew-Henry (New York Giants).