MIAMI (AP) – Former wrestling star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson said he has acquired the XFL.
The 48-year-old Johnson made the announcement Monday on Twitter. The price reportedly is $15 million.
The XFL had eight franchises and played five games out of a planned 10-game schedule before canceling the remainder of its season in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It drew decent TV ratings early on and had deals with ESPN and Fox.
The St. Louis BattleHawks had been among the most successful franchises in the brief run of the league this spring, with strong attendance and television ratings. The BattleHawks finished 3-2, tying the DC Defenders and New York Guardians atop the Eastern Division standings at the time of the shutdown. At the Rams old home, The Dome at America’s Center, the BattleHawks boasted two of the top three attendance marks in the league, including 29.994 for the home opener on February 23 against New York. For the next game on the schedule, against Los Angeles, a bigger crowd was anticipated, with tickets in the upper deck being sold for the first time.
The league suspended operations and laid off all of its employees on April 10 and filed for bankruptcy protection on April 13.
Spring football is a difficult challenge, as the Alliance of American Football found out in 2019, not lasting a full season, either.
A previous version of the XFL also played one season in 2001.
Johnson is teaming with business partner Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital, a private investment firm to buy the league, which filed for bankruptcy in April. Starring as “The Rock”, Johnson was a major star on the WWE roster in the late 1990s into the early 2000’s for former XFL owner Vince McMahon.