The world's highest-paid actor and former WWE star, who played football for the University of Miami Hurricanes from 1990 to 1994, has agreed to purchase the XFL for approximately $15 million. ESPN reports that Johnson's business partner and ex-wife, Dany Garcia, and "RedBird Capital Partners went in on the deal.
"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 an official 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."
The XFL averaged 1.9 million viewers per game and generated a $20 million gross revenue in 2020. Projections pointed to a $46 million gross revenue by the end of a 10-game season, putting it on track to exceed original expectations.
But like virtually every other spring sports league, the XFL was forced to suspend play due to the coronavirus pandemic in early March, about halfway through its first season since the reboot. Nearly all of its work force was laid off on April 10 before the XFL declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 13.
WWE mogul Vince McMahon had invested $200 million as the league's owner to bring it back for 2020. He originally and NBC executive Dick Ebersol originally launched the XFL in 2001. Both lost millions of dollars after just one season. We'll see if The Rock and co. can make the XFL an NFL competitor.