The Rock partnered with Gerry Cardinale’sRedBird Capital to purchase the XFL for $15 million Monday.
Scott Soshnik of Sportico broke terms of the deal, which came just before the league and its assets were set to go up for auction. Vince McMahon’s football league filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year after the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the inaugural season of the upstart’s return.
XFL President Jeffrey Pollack confirmed the news to Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal.
The Rock’s ex-wife and business partner, Dany Garcia, will also be a partner in the revamped XFL.
McMahon announced the relaunch of the XFL in January 2018, hoping to capitalize on the market for spring football and the popularity of the 30 for 30 documentary about the original XFL, which also folded after one season. The WWE chairman said he was prepared to invest as much as $500 million in the league and divested some of his shares in the wrestling company to make it happen.
The XFL launched with eight teams in February, with impressive viewership ( 3.1 million) that quickly dwindled. By the time the league ceased operations five weeks into the season, the league had dropped below one million viewers for some broadcasts.
McMahon filed for bankruptcy protection in April, a month after the COVID-19 pandemic caused the league to stop play. It is not believed that existing television contracts with ESPN/ABC and Fox will be honored, though that could change with Johnson at the helm of the new group.
The XFL said it had between $10 million and $50 million in liabilities at the time of its bankruptcy filing.