Actor and producer Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital have agreed to buy the XFL, the bankrupt football league founded by WWE CEO Vince McMahon.
In a statement, XFL president Jeffrey Pollack called the deal “a Hollywood ending” for the league’s sale process.
The XFL was scheduled to go to a bankruptcy auction this week, but RedBird, Johnson and Garcia have acquired XFL parent company Alpha Entertainment for $15 million, canceling the proceedings.
“The transaction is subject to bankruptcy court approval at a hearing this Friday, August 7 and, assuming that closing conditions are satisfied, is expected to close on or shortly after August 21,” the companies said in a statement.
Garcia said that the partners plan on “developing the XFL brand into a multimedia experience that our athletes, partners and fans will proudly embrace and love.”
The current iteration of the XFL was founded in 2018 and began play earlier this year (the WWE had previously launched a version of the league in 2001). Of course, the novel coronavirus pandemic shut down all live sports, sealing the league’s fate right after it kicked off. The XFL filed for bankruptcy and put itself up for sale in April.
At the time of the filing, the league listed assets valued at between $10 million and $50 million, and liabilities also between $10 million and $50 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,” said Johnson 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.”
Johnson, of course, was one of the WWE’s biggest stars, and also played football for the University of Miami.