ESPN reports that "a group including actor and former WWE star Dwayne Johnson has agreed to purchase the XFL for about $15 million … The XFL declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy April 13 and has been seeking a buyer for the past three months, marketing itself as a made-for-TV product that could transition as early as 2021 to a bubble concept during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Johnson and his investors -- who include his business partner Dany Garcia along with RedBird Capital Partners -- are making plans to play next season, Garcia told ESPN."
Axios Sports reports that the acquisition "does not necessarily mean the upstart football league is returning. Axios has learned that the buyers plan to first seek major media deals before committing to the major capital expense of launching a new season.
They landed the deal just hours before the league was set to be up for sale at auction, and there were no other qualified bids, according to the court filing."
The move in some ways is a gamble that the NFL, with 32 teams, could run into trouble trying to play in a pandemic world, which will leave the US hungry for football next year, and the XFL able to deliver a product that, with just eight teams, could be easier to isolate in a bubble in the same way that the NHL and NBA are.
It also isn't an especially expensive gamble, since WWE founder Vince McMahon put some $200 million launching the XFL.
- KC's View:
I wouldn't bet against this move … especially because I think it is pretty evident at this point that Dwayne Johnson can do anything. I can't wait to see how he channels his character from HBO's "Ballers" to this real-life football ownership gig.
The price tag seems pretty low, considering that Johnson probably could cover it just by agreeing to do Moana 2.
Which reminds me of this typically atypical Dwayne Johnson movie moment…