Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell likes the idea of a merger between the CFL and XFL.
“I don’t want the history of the Canadian game to go away, I would never want that to happen, I don’t want the Canadian game to change, but if we want the Canadian game to grow, I think the merger would be an absolutely phenomenal thing,” Mitchell said on The Bob McCown podcast.
“The NFL came about from two different leagues joining, which created the AFC and NFC. If you could have nine teams in Canada and nine teams in America, you’ve now creating an international game.”
The owners of both leagues have agreed to work together to identify opportunities for innovating and growing the game of football. The Rock has stated he’s excited for the ‘unique opportunity’ the CFL and XFL ‘can potentially create together.’
“If you tie The Rock to anything and then he’s got some big friends. So maybe he gets Drake to buy in on the CFL side, and you get this game a little bit younger, no offence to the older viewers,” Mitchell said.
“We are trying to say that our game is 100 years old and we have no reason to change it. I love this game with all of my heart, but things have to change if we want this game to grow, if not it is going to die the way it is.”
Dwayne Johnson, Dany 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, which could be aided by an agreement with the CFL.
“We need some other people that have a lot of money to help with this. That’s why I’m saying, ‘Hey, if you can bring the XFL in, now you’re getting your viewers on the other side of the border,” Mitchell said.
“You’ve got The Rock, maybe he gets somebody else like Drake to put some money in and we get this game a little bit younger, fun, promoting it in a different way. I think that could really go a long ways.”
The original XFL lasted one full season in 2001 and lasted just part of one season before the COVID-19 pandemic put their 2020 season on hold, which led to Vince McMahon filing for bankruptcy and selling to Johnson, Garcia, and RedBird Capital. Meanwhile, Grey Cup has been awarded for over 100 years in Canada.
“To be 1,000 percent honest, when I drive around [Calgary] I don’t see a lot of 16 to 21 year olds with Stamps stickers on their cars, but I see a lot of 45, 50 year olds and over that have it,” Mitchell said.
“Our problem is there’s a generation there that we’re missing and we need to find a way to gain back before we lose the game. That’s my personal opinion, it’s probably not going to be a very popular opinion, but I’m just speaking the truth of what I see.”