Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has come to an agreement to purchase rugby league XFL, hours before it was set to go for auction. The league, founded by Vince McMahon filed for bankruptcy earlier this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Vince McMahon’s pet-project, XFL initially ran for a season in 2001. The league was reinstated after a 200 million injection in 2020. The league ran for five weeks with eight franchises but its maiden season was called off on March 12 due to increasing cases of COVID-19.
The league proceeded to lay-off employees and shut day-to-day operations by April 10 before filing for bankruptcy three days later. XFL saw an initial viewing audience of 3 million, but it declined gradually with time.
The Rock’s bond with the sport
The Rock is no slouch when it comes to football after starting his career with the University of Miami in 1990. He then switched to the Canadian football league before switching to professional wrestling where he had an illustrious career.
The former WWE star announced the purchase of the league along with his ex-wife Dany Garcia and private investment firm RedBird Capital. Here’s what the Rock had to say about his recent acquisition:
“The acquisition of the XFL with my talented partners, Dany Garcia and [RedBird CEO] 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,”
“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.”
The president of XFL Jeffrey Pollack also expressed his delight over having a new group to lead the league in a new direction. Pollack called the recent investing group led by the Rock as ‘the dream team’, before adding that the league has truly got a Hollywood ending. He stated:
“A dream team ownership group and the XFL is in the best possible hands going forward”
Dany Garcia has high hopes from this project, she said in a press release:
“For Dwayne, Gerry and myself, this property represents an incredible opportunity,” Garcia said in a press release. “It is the confluence of great passion, tradition, and possibility. 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 deal is expected to close by August 21 subjected to approval by the court.
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