Dwayne "The Rock Johnson" is one of the new owners of the XFL. On Monday, Johnson and RedBird Capital teamed up to buy the league just hours before a planned auction was set to begin, according to Sportico. Johnson and RedBird Capital paid $15 million for the pro football league, splitting it evenly. Johnson's ex-wife and business partner, Dany Garcia, will also be a stakeholder.
"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."
“For Dwayne, Gerry and myself, this property represents an incredible opportunity. It is the confluence of great passion, tradition and possibility,” Garcia said. “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.”
XFL President and COO Jeffrey Pollack is very excited about the purchase. "We are grateful for today's outcome," Pollack said in a statement. He also said this is a "Hollywood ending," to the entire process and is looking forward to a "new chapter for the league." Pollack then noted that Johnson, Garcia, and Cardinale are a "dream team ownership."
Originally, XFL was set to be up for auction and it was reported a dozen bidders were looking to buy the league. With Johnson being an owner of XFL, the league will continue to have ties with WWE as Vince McMahon was the founder of the league back in 2001. At that time, the XFL only lasted one season, but McMahon brought it back this year. The season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which then led to the league filing for bankruptcy in April after laying off all its employees. It was reported McMahon was trying to buy back the league but denied that claim in court.
"I don't know why that's out there, making me out to be the bad guy, [that] I'm going to buy the XFL back for pennies on the dollar, basically," McMahon said. "That helped me move into the direction of, 'I'm not going to be a bidder, not going to have anything to do with it.' I do hope that someone will pay a lot of money for it, and I do hope that it will survive."
Johnson is known for being a WWE legend and top movie star, but he also has a love for football. The former WWE Champion played college football at the University of Miami where he was a member of the 1991 national championship team.