The XFL is looking to make a comeback next year. Two months after the league suspended and canceled the inaugural season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the XFL's investment bank is in "active" discussions with dozens of bidders to purchase and restart the league for the 2020 season, according to a report by Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic. This comes on the heels of XFL owner/founder Vince McMahon reportedly trying to buy back the league after it filed for bankruptcy. But it looks like that won't happen as Kaplan reported, "there is a robust market" for the league.
How many bidders exactly are looking to buy the XFL? Kaplan reported 20 had executed non-disclosure agreement s to negotiate with XFL's global investment bank Houlihan Lokey. There are six in the process of doing the same thing to bring back the league in the spring. If that happens, the league will come back in a tournament-style type way. "In fact, I understand the Debtor has modeled for 2021 a made-for-TV, 12-week tournament-style approach to its business," Houlihan managing partner William Hardie said to Kaplan, via CBS Sports. "Since the XFL is particularly well suited for a crowd-free experience that could thrive in the current environment, given its existing innovations such as in-game audio from players and coaches and live on-screen sports wagering information."
As for McMahon trying to buy back the XFL, he recently said in bankruptcy court that he has no plans of getting the league back. He did reserve the legal right to be a bidder in the original bankruptcy claim. This week, McMahon explained why he made that decision and also claimed he's not the "bad guy" in this situation. "I think I was trying to make up my mind," he said via ESPN. "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."
The XFL kicked off its inaugural season in February, one week after the Super Bowl. Eight teams were featured in the league, and the Houston Roughneckers were the only team that was undefeated before the season was suspended. If a bidder buys the league, it's unclear if the same eight teams will be back next year.