Former WWE superstar Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale’s private equity investment firm RedBird Capital have teamed up to buy the XFL for $15 million, the XFL announced.
The deal, which was first reported by Sportico's Scott Soshnick, comes just hours before the league was slated to be auctioned.
“This is a Hollywood ending to our sale process and the start of a fantastic new beginning for the XFL with the best possible ownership group going forward,” XFL President Jeffrey Pollack said.
"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," Johnson said 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."
The XFL shut down its operations during its inaugural season on April 10 and laid off its entire staff. The league cited the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic as its main reason and then filed for bankruptcy three days later.
In May, Vince McMahon said that he had no plans to attempt to buy back the league. He first announced its return in 2018 and reportedly spent more than $200 million on it.
The 2020 XFL season only made it through five of its 10 scheduled weeks. It averaged about 1.9 million viewers on FOX per game,