The CFL is looking to partner up with the XFL.
The two leagues announced that they have agreed to work together to identify opportunities to “grow the game of football.”
“Canada has an exciting game and devoted fans, and our discussion with the XFL provides a tremendous opportunity to build on that strong foundation,” CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement. “We look forward to exploring how we might work with one of the most innovative sports brands in the world to grow the game, engage fans in new ways, and reach new audiences.”
XFL owners Dany Garcia and former wrestler turned movie star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson purchased the XFL from World Wrestling Entertainment chairman and CEO Vince McMahon for $15 million in August. Johnson himself was briefly a member of the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders in 1995.
“Since we first acquired the XFL, we have focused on identifying partners who share our vision and values on and off the field,” Garcia said. “A vision filled with opportunity, innovation and the highest level of entertainment value for the benefit of our athletes, fans and communities.
“The CFL has expressed that similar sentiment and jointly we recognize a great opportunity to build exciting innovative football experiences that make the most of each league’s unique strengths. I look forward to our continued discussions and we will update the sports community as we have more to share.”
“We are honoured and excited to be in discussions with the CFL,” XFL President and CEO Jeffery Pollack said. “It’s clear through our early conversations that we share a passion for football, an expansive sense of possibility, and a deep desire to create more opportunity for players and fans across North America and around the world.
“Blending the CFL’s rich heritage with our fresh thinking, and the unique reach and experience of our ownership, could be transformative for the game.”
The XFL only played half of its 10-game season in 2020 because of the pandemic. In a tweet in October, Johnson said the XFL is targeting a return in the spring of 2022.
XFL returns SPRING 2022 🏈
As owners, we’re proud to champion our XFL players, coaches, cities and fans into an electrifying 2022 season!
It’s an uphill battle – but we’re hungry, humble and no one will outwork us.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) October 1, 2020
The CFL also cancelled its 2020 season due to the pandemic and the fact that they could not obtain a loan from the Canadian government. The 2021 season is slated to begin on June 10 based on a “comeback” schedule the league released in the fall.