The XFL reached a happy ending to its sale process by landing Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as a co-owner.
What Happened: The eight-team XFL football league filed for bankruptcy shortly after suspending operations on April 10 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The XFL and its parent company, Alpha Entertainment, was scheduled to host an auction on Monday to sell its assets but confirmed a deal has been reached with a consortium of buyers, including the famed World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWE) alum and movie star.
This was the second time WWE CEO Vince McMahon tried to launch a football league, the first time coming back in 2001 to disastrous results.
Johnson and RedBird Capital's Gerry Cardinale each paid $7.5 million to be the league. Johnson's business partner and ex-wife Dany Garcia will also be a stakeholder.
"We are grateful for today's outcome," said Jeffrey Pollack, XFL President and 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."
Why It's Important: Johnson and Garcia have the necessary background one would expect to run a sports league. The two co-founded Seven Bucks Companies, a maker of original content for TV, film, emerging technologies, and digital networks.
Dany Garcia and Dwayne Johnson. Photo by Hiram Garcia.
Perhaps more notable, Cardinale created multiple multi-billion dollar sports and entertainment companies, including the YES Network (New York Yankees and Legends Hospitality (Yankees and Dallas Cowboys), among others.
What's Next: Johnson said that as co-owner he will apply his passion for the game of football with his desire to take care of its fans.
"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," he said in a press release.
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