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Dwayne Johnson: XFL will return in spring 2022

Cassandra Negley
·3-min read

The XFL will return in spring of 2022, league co-owners Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia announced on Thursday.

Johnson purchased the bankrupt football league in August for $15 million, which was evenly split between Johnson and investment partner RedBird capital. Dany Garcia, Johnson’s ex-wife and business partner, is also a stakeholder in the business. The league was formerly owned and founded by Vince McMahon.

“The XFL represents the idea of ultimate opportunity; it’s a league of soul and culture, anchored by the pursuit of dreams and love for the game, that we couldn’t be more proud to lead,” Garcia and Johnson said in a statement. “Every XFL player, coach, city and fan is our top priority and we couldn’t be more excited to champion them in an electrifying 2022 season. We are the new XFL—hungry, humble and no one will outwork us.”

It’s standard season begins in February, after the NFL has wrapped up the Super Bowl.

XFL won’t play in bubble in 2021

The XFL had considered holding a 2021 season in a bubble environment during the COVID-19 pandemic, but has since changed course with the announcement it will return next spring.

“For the love of football and for the safety of our players and fans, we'll be back on the field in 2022,” XFL president and COO Jeffrey Pollack said in the statement. “The opportunity in front of us, with our new ownership, is simply too big to rush back. We want to do this properly with care and thought for everyone who loves football, especially our players, coaches, partners and fans.”

The morning’s announcement by both Johnson and Garcia came with a 60-second video clip narrated by them.

“Some look at this place and only see a football field. But it’s more than that. This is hollowed ground. This is an opportunity. To build a league of culture, passion and purpose. To live a dream. Our work is cut out for us, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. This will be earned. We’ll give it every last ounce of football-loving energy it can take. And then, we’ll give it more. Our hearts, our souls. This is for the players, the coaches, the cities, the fans. For stories untold. For potential unrealized. We are hungry, we are humble. And no one will outwork us.”

XFL given another chance by ‘The Rock’

CFL logo on the goal post.
The XFL will return in 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)

The XFL was reformed in 2018 using the same name as the 2001 football league, though it moved its focus away from wrestling talent. It began play in February 2020 with eight teams and had strong ratings while in sports-friendly TV spots right away.

Five games into the new season, it announced on March 12 all remaining games would be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A month later, the league filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Outside of some information about 2022 tickets and the news alert on new ownership, the XFL website is empty of further information about teams and rosters.

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