Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and an investor group just coughed up $15 million to purchase the XFL after the football league filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. More inside…
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson just made a major play during the pandemic.
The former WWE wrestler-turned-actor teamed up with RedBird Capital to purchase the XFL for $15 million hours before a scheduled bankruptcy auction, according to Sportico.
BREAKING: Massive @Sportico Exclusive: Dwayne @TheRock Johnson buys @xfl2020 with Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital for $15 million, hours before scheduled bankruptcy auction #SportsBiz #XFL #WWE. pic.twitter.com/xUcHfgGk7b
— Scott Soshnick (@soshnick) August 3, 2020
As of now, it is unclear when The Rock and his investors – who include his business partner/ex-wife, Dany Garcia, along with RedBird Capital Partners – plan to revive the league.
“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,” The Rock, who played football at the University of Miami from 1990 to 1994, said. “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.”
Back in April, the XFL declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy and has been seeking a buyer for months. The league has reportedly been marketing itself as a “made-for-TV product” that could transition as early as 2021 to a bubble concept during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The filing, officially made by Alpha Entertainment, listed the XFL with assets and liabilities each in the range of $10 million to $50 million. The XFL was previously owned by WWE CEO and president Vince McMahon and Alpha Entertainment.
The league has twice shuttered after one season — first in 2001, then earlier this year as a result of the pandemic — and there hasn’t been a long-term alternative football league since the AFL forced a merger with the NFL in 1970. But XFL owner Vince McMahon had been a determined aspirant, investing $200 million in the league’s second incarnation, one that promised to “reimagine” the game. Its eight teams suspended play after five weeks, and the league laid off almost all its workforce April 10.
McMahon considered bidding on the XFL himself early in the bankruptcy process but ultimately decided against it.
CBS SportsLine’s Allan Bell mentioned RedBird Capital has numerous ties around the NFL.
The facing story will be The Rock partnering to buy the XFL for $15 million.
The real story is that RedBird Capital has numerous ties around the NFL. pic.twitter.com/JCLo8tuWTO
— Allan Bell (@AllanBell247) August 3, 2020
Does that mean the XFL could turn into a minor league for the NFL? Possibly. Time will tell…
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Like so many of us here in the US and around the world – getting back can be a tough decision that work requires real consideration and strategic planning around best health practices and safety measures. I’m happy to announce our RED NOTICE production will resume shooting next month in mid September. Thank you to our tremendous partners at NETFLIX who’ve joined us shoulder to shoulder to provide the safest and most aggressive “quarantined bubble” for our production crew as possible. I’m confident in our safety strategy and execution, but we’ll also be fluid and amenable to best practice changes on the fly. Stay healthy and stay disciplined, my friends as you all get back to work. Good luck! And to my RED NOTICE crew – the hardest workers in the room, mount up – because we’re going back to work. See you on set. DJ @sevenbucksprod @flynnpictureco @netflix
A post shared by therock (@therock) on Aug 2, 2020 at 3:45pm PDT
Yesterday, The Rock confirmed his Netflix film Red Notice will resume production in a “quarantined bubble.” He said his production team – Seven Bucks Production – and Netflix are working together to provide a safe way to film. Peep the clip above.