Art becomes reality with Dwayne Johnson‘s latest move to become a bonafide businessman in the vein of his character in HBO’s Ballers. The actor and producer has teamed up with Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital to buy the XFL, the bankrupt football league founded by WWE CEO Vince McMahon, in a $15 million deal with the aim of “developing the XFL brand into a multi-media experience that our athletes, partners and fans will proudly embrace and love,” Garcia said.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, actor, producer, retired professional wrestler, and former American football player Dwayne Johnson can now add part owner of the XFL to his resume. The multihyphenate has teamed up with Garcia and RedBird Capital to buy the XFL on the verge of the football league’s bankruptcy auction, which was scheduled to start this week. But with Redbird, Johnson, and Garcia’s acquisition of XFL parent company Alpha Entertainment for $15 million, these proceedings have been canceled.
In a statement, XFL president Jeffrey Pollack called the deal “a Hollywood ending” for the league’s sale process.
“The transaction is subject to bankruptcy court approval at a hearing this Friday, August 7 and, assuming that closing conditions are satisfied, is expected to close on or shortly after August 21,” the companies said in a statement.
Johnson, himself a former football player for the University of Miami and who has kept the sport close to him with a role in HBO’s Ballers, which the star also produced, said in a statement:
“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,” said “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.”
The XFL was founded in 2018, following WWE’s previously launched version of the league in 2001, and began play earlier this year. But when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shut down all live sports, the XFL floundered right after it kicked off, quickly filing for bankruptcy and putting itself up for sale in April. According to THR the league’s assets at the time of filing were valued at between$10-$50 million, and liabilities also between $10-$50 million.
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