Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, investment firm to buy XFL

An investment group including actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson announced plans Monday to buy the XFL for $15 million months after the league filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The sale is expected to close by Aug. 21, pending court approval, and will give Johnson, RedBird Capital Partners and Johnson’s ex-wife and business partner, Dany Garcia, control of the league relaunched in February by WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, according to the Bleacher Report.

“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, who played football at the University of Miami in the 1990s, said Monday in a news release.

“With pride and gratitude for all that I’ve built with my own two hands, I plan to apply these (calluses) to the XFL, and look forward to creating something special for the players, fans, and everyone involved for the love of football.”

The XFL had declared bankruptcy in April, citing the “harsh economic impacts and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 crisis.” In a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, officials estimated the organization had between $10 million and $50 million in assets and liabilities.

In a statement, XFL President and COO Jeffrey Pollack called the planned sale a "Hollywood ending" that marked "an exciting new chapter for the league."

The XFL was launched with eight teams in February but shuttered after five weeks amid quickly dwindling viewership, according to the Bleacher Report and ESPN. Previously, the league ended play after a single season in 2001, ESPN reported.

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