After a shutdown, bankruptcy, sale and pandemic, the XFL will be returning to the gridiron for the 2022 season. The announcement was made by co-owners Dany Garcia and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson through a video shared across social media. Garcia and Johnson are in the process of finalizing the next steps for relaunching, including the search for a television deal, with more details to be unveiled in the upcoming weeks and months.
Following the Super Bowl, the league began its inaugural season in February and brought in more than 3 million viewers in its first week. By the fifth week the number was about half of that before the league shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For the love of football and for the safety of our players and fans, we’ll be back on the field in 2022,” said Jeffrey Pollack, XFL President and COO. “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 league had a broadcast agreement with Fox during its debut season, but the league’s new owners are working on a media deal for the 2022 campaign. Johnson and Garcia united with Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital to buy the XFL hours before an auction was scheduled to begin. The two parties paid $15 million, splitting it evenly. All three individuals acquired substantially to all of the assets of Alpha Entertainment LLC, the parent company of the XFL.
“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,” said Garcia and Johnson. “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.”