It would appear that Vince McMahon‘s XFL (Extreme Football League) just got themselves bailed out of looming bankruptcy by someone with ties to both football and McMahon’s other major moneymaker- wrestling. Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson has partnered with Gerry Cardinale of RedBird Capital, and purchased the entire league mere hours before a public auction was going to take place.
Before his professional wrestling career (a family business), Johnson played football for the University of Miami.
Reportedly, around $15 million was needed to purchase the league. Johnson, along with his 7Bucks producing partner and former wife Dany Garcia, and RedBird Capital pooled their resources and outright purchased the XFL.
XFL President and COO Jeffrey Pollack said of the news:
“We are grateful for today’s outcome. This is a Hollywood ending to our sale process and it is an exciting new chapter for the league. Dwayne, Dany and Gerry are a dream team ownership group and the XFL is in the best possible hands going forward.”
Dany Garcia said in a press release:
“For Dwayne, Gerry and myself, this property represents an incredible opportunity. 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.”
If you’ll recall, the XFL was first conceieved by McMahon back in 2001. They were able to play 1 complete season before shuttering. McMahon had hoped to bring back the league at the beginning of the year, but, you know how 2020 goes.
“The acquisition of the XFL with my talented partners, Dany Garcia and 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.”
“It is a privilege to partner with Dany and Dwayne on the acquisition of the XFL. Their track record in building dynamic businesses speaks for itself, and their vision and passion for developing the XFL as a world class sports and entertainment property will enable a new future for this organization. As their partner in acquiring and relaunching the XFL, RedBird will bring its own track record and experience in building world class companies in sports and live entertainment to help realize their vision.”