• Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson partnered with equity firm RedBird Capital Partners to purchase the XFL three months after it filed for bankruptcy
  • The XFL filed for bankruptcy in April after canceling the remainder of its season because of the onset of coronavirus in the U.S.
  • A wrongful termination lawsuit by former XFL commissioner Oliver Luck is on hold until bankruptcy processing is completed

RedBird Capital Partners, alongside actor and ex-WWE star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, has agreed Monday to buy the XFL for around $15 million. The buyout comes three months after the relaunched football league declared bankruptcy as the result of cutting the season short after the outbreak of coronavirus in the U.S.

RedBird Capital is a private equity firm with multiple sports investments, including the New York Yankees’ regional sports channel YES Network. It also recently purchased the French soccer team Toulouse.

“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 press release. “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.”

Neither Johnson nor his partners at RedBird have said when they plan on relaunching the league.

“This is a Hollywood ending to our sale process and it is an exciting new chapter for the league,” XFL president and chief operating officer Jeffrey Pollack told SportsBusiness Group.

The change in ownership could mean “third time’s the charm” for the football league first created in 1999 by WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. The XFL played for one season in 2001 before it shuttered after failing to find an audience. McMahon announced the league’s reformation in 2018, with the new season scheduled to begin in February 2020.

The XFL made it through five games, averaging between 1 and 2 million viewers, before it was forced to shut down because of coronavirus. The remaining games were subsequently canceled and the league filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 13.

Former XFL commissioner Oliver Luck sued shortly after the XFL filed for bankruptcy, accusing McMahon of wrongful termination. The lawsuit is on-hold pending the outcome of the bankruptcy filings.

Actor Dwayne Johnson is pictured. AFP/Chris Delmas