Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Says XFL Will Return in 2022

By in Sports on
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The Rock XFL
  • XFL to return under new ownership in 2022
  • League is still mired in a number of lawsuits after XFL filed for bankruptcy in April
  • Dwayne Johnson purchased the XFL for $15 million in August

Just a few weeks after announcing that he had purchased the XFL for $15 million, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson released a video in which he said the league will return to action in 2022.

The league will not play in 2021, but fully plans to be in action the following year. Johnson, along with business partner and ex-wife Dany Garcia with RedBird Capital Partners made the purchase in August. Garcia said at the time that they were considering hosting a 2021 season in a one-city, bubble-style structure, but admitted at the time that nothing had been finalized.

XFL president and COO Jeffrey Pollack said,

“For the love of football and for the safety of our players and fans, we’ll be back on the field in 2022. 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.”

Pandemic-Shortened 2020 Schedule

The XFL returned earlier this year after an absence of nearly 20 years. Vince McMahon relaunched his alternative football league the week after Super Bowl 54, with an eight-team league scheduled to play a 10-game schedule ending in April.

However, the league was ultimately forced to put the season on hiatus as a result of the pandemic in March. While the XFL had hoped to return at some point, the league scrapped the remainder of its season shortly thereafter.

Just about every employee in the league was subsequently laid off, and the XFL filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April. The majority of the former employees are still unpaid creditors in court proceedings, and it would have been a tall task for the league’s new ownership to get everything squared away before attempting to return to action in February of 2021.

Former XFL commissioner Oliver Luck, who was fired along with most of the rest of the league in April, is still in the process of suing McMahon for wrongful termination. Luck is seeking nearly $24 million in compensation.

XFL’s Solid Popularity

A number of former XFL players, including quarterbacks PJ Walker and Jordan Ta’amu, were able to parlay strong showings in the XFL into NFL contracts.

The league has released no details regarding potential changes to the structure that was used earlier this year. Every team had played five games at the time the league stopped operations in the spring.

While the XFL garnered solid viewership and attendance numbers early in the season, interest seemed to wane as the campaign progressed. The league attracted an average of just under two million TV viewers per game, and it had generated nearly $20 million in gross revenues at the time of the stoppage.

The XFL was anticipating generating nearly $50 million in revenue over the course of the full 10-game schedule. The original version of the XFL ceased operations permanently after playing just one season back in 2001. McMahon invested around $200 million to reboot the league to begin play earlier this year.

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...

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