Group led by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson buys XFL for $15M

Group led by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson buys XFL for $15M
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An ownership group led by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson announced on Monday that it has agreed to purchase the XFL for $15 million. 

“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,” Johnson said in a statement.

“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,” he added.

The announcement comes ahead of bankruptcy court hearing slated for the XFL's parent company on Friday. The league was forced to shut down its season in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, eventually leading to its bankruptcy declaration the following month.

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The XFL saw mixed results after launching the season in February. Attendance approached 20,000 people per game across the league's eight teams, with ratings relatively strong out of the gate. But those numbers faded as the season moved on.

On March 12, the league said it had decided not to finish its season after many other sports leagues suspended play.

“We are grateful for today’s outcome,” XFL President and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Pollack said on Monday. “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.” 

The sale to RedBird Capital Partners will mark a rebranding of the XFL for the third time.

The spring football league first launched in 2001 but only lasted one season initially.

Johnson, 48, played college football at the University of Miami before becoming a professional wrestler and eventually one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. He is reportedly being paid $22 million for the upcoming movie "Jungle Cruise."