The potential merger between the CFL and XFL could come as soon as next year.
However, according to Canadian Press reporter Dan Ralph, the collaboration between the leagues hinges on Canadian football being played in the current calendar year.
If the CFL doesn’t get back to playing football this year, there could be no future partnership with the XFL to explore.
The CFL’s top priority should be a return to play in 2021 because there are very serious and genuine concerns about the league’s ability to survive if it’s forced to cancel a second straight campaign.
If a deal is reached, it’s expected to begin in 2022 as the Canadian league continues to work on returning to the field this season after cancelling the 2020 campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The owners from both the CFL and XFL have agreed to work together to identify opportunities for both to innovate and grow the game of football.
The most recent incarnation of the XFL lasted just five games before the COVID-19 pandemic put their season on hold, which led to Vince McMahon filing for bankruptcy and selling to Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, and RedBird Capital.
Johnson, Garcia and RedBird Capital were selected as the winning bidders 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.
The Rock has stated he’s excited for the ‘unique opportunity’ the CFL and XFL ‘can potentially create together.’
The Grey Cup has been awarded in Canada for over 100 years. Meanwhile, the original XFL lasted one full season in 2001.