Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson just let everyone know when the XFL will return. On Thursday morning, Johnson went to social media to announce that the XFL, a league that he now co-owns, will return in spring 2022. It's likely the league will have its first game after Super Bowl LVI, which will be played at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
"As owners, we're proud to champion our XFL players, coaches, cities and fans into an electrifying 2022 season!" Johnson wrote on Instagram. I'm so inspired to put in the work because football always represented an opportunity to me. Opportunity to take care of my family. And even though my dreams of playing pro football never came true — I'm in the exciting and humbling position to create opportunities for players so their dreams can come true." Along with Johnson's Instagram post, he and XFL co-owner Dany Garcia released a joint statement.
"The XFL represents the idea of ultimate opportunity; it’s a league of soul and culture, anchored by the pursuit of dreams and love for the game, that we couldn’t be more proud to lead," Garcia and Johnson said. "Every XFL player, coach, city and fan is our top priority and we couldn’t be more excited to champion them in an electrifying 2022 season. We are the new XFL—hungry, humble and no one will outwork us.”
Johnson, Garcia and RedBird Capital Partners purchased the XFL for $15 million in August. At that time, Garcia told ESPN they were looking to restart the league sometime in 2021 in a bubble structure. XFL president Jeffrey Pollack revealed the reason the league is starting in 2022 is they didn't want to rush back.
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"For the love of football and for the safety of our players and fans, we'll be back on the field in 2022," Pollack said as reported by ESPN. "The opportunity in front of us, with our new ownership, is simply too big to rush back. We want to do this properly with care and thought for everyone who loves football, especially our players, coaches, partners and fans."
The XFL, which was founded by WWE chairman Vince McMahon, started in 2001 but only lasted one season. The league was brought back this year, but the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. McMahon laid off nearly the entire XFL workforce and declared bankruptcy in April. Former XFL commissioner Oliver Luck is in the middle of the wrongful termination lawsuit with McMahon.
"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 August. "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."