CFL to explore alignment opportunities with XFL owners

The CFL and XFL owners Dany Garcia, Dwayne Johnson, and RedBird Capital have agreed to work together to identify opportunities for the leagues to collaborate, innovate, and grow the game of football.

The Rock and Garcia were selected as the winning bidder last August for all of the assets of Alpha Entertainment LLC, the parent company of the XFL. It cost $15 million and the goal is to make the XFL a stable league in the future.

“Since we first acquired the XFL, we have focused on identifying partners who share our vision and values on and off the field. A vision filled with opportunity, innovation and the highest level of entertainment value for the benefit of our athletes, fans and communities,” XFL chairwoman and owner Dany Garcia said in a statement.

“The CFL has expressed that similar sentiment and jointly we recognize a great opportunity to build exciting innovative football experiences that make the most of each league’s unique strengths. I look forward to our continued discussions and we will update the sports community as we have more to share.”

The XFL lasted just part of one season before the COVID-19 pandemic put their season on hold, which led to Vince McMahon filing for bankruptcy and selling to Johnson and Garcia. Part of the assets include a quickly-developed social media presence. The XFL 2020 Twitter account has 354,000 followers compared to the CFL’s 293,000.

“Canada has an exciting game and devoted fans, and our discussion with the XFL provides a tremendous opportunity to build on that strong foundation,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement.

“We look forward to exploring how we might work with one of the most innovative sports brands in the world to grow the game, engage fans in new ways, and reach new audiences. We look forward to seeing what possibilities our discussions might uncover, and to sharing those with our fans as the process unfolds.”

The CFL has been awarding the Grey Cup for over 100 years. Meanwhile, the original XFL lasted one full season in 2001. The Rock and his people are working to have it around much longer. The two leagues have entered into formal talks exploring potential for collaboration and innovation to grow the game of football.

“We are honoured and excited to be in discussions with the CFL. It’s clear through our early conversations that we share a passion for football, an expansive sense of possibility, and a deep desire to create more opportunity for players and fans across North America and around the world,” Jeffrey Pollack, XFL president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.

“Blending the CFL’s rich heritage with our fresh thinking, and the unique reach and experience of our ownership, could be transformative for the game. We look forward to learning more about what’s possible together with the CFL and where our shared passion takes us.”

The 2022 XFL season has been put on hold pending the outcome of the conversations with the CFL.

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