The sale of the XFL to a group that includes actor and former WWE superstar Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was approved Friday morning in a Delaware federal bankruptcy court.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein approved the transaction after the XFL resolved a dispute over its $15 million sale price with creditors. Johnson, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale’s private equity investment firm RedBird Capital will take control of the league after closing conditions for the sale are met. The deal is expected to close around Aug. 21, according to Sportico's Michael McCann.
The group agreed to pay cure amounts of around $9 million for designated contracts.
On April 10, the XFL shuttered its operations during its inaugural season and laid off nearly its entire staff. The league cited the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic as its main reason for closing and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy three days later.
The deal with Johnson and Garcia's group on Monday came just hours before the XFL 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 after the deal was announced.
In May, owner Vince McMahon said 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.