Dany Garcia, pro wrestling and movie star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and RedBird Capital Partners have bought the XFL spring football league through its parent company, Alpha Entertainment LLC, for approximately $15 million. The transaction is subject to bankruptcy court approval at a hearing on August 7 and is expected to close on or shortly after August 21.
With the purchase, the XFL’s bankruptcy sale auction previously scheduled for August 3 will not occur. The group secures the ability to option live entertainment intellectual property for further expansion across sports, live events and original entertainment programming.
“For Dwayne, Gerry and myself, this property represents an incredible opportunity. It is the confluence of great passion, tradition and possibility,” said Garcia. “Sports and entertainment are the foundations of the businesses I have built. Melding our expertise combined with our commitment to deliver exciting and inspiring unique content, has us all focused on developing the XFL brand into a multi-media experience that our athletes, partners and fans will proudly embrace and love.”
Garcia and Johnson are co-founders of Seven Bucks Companies, a multi-platform enterprise pioneering original content for television, film, emerging technologies and digital networks, and have been behind some of the most successful platforms in global entertainment. Through their joint enterprise, Garcia and Johnson’s work spans all entertainment and creative verticals involving investments, brand integrations, philanthropic endeavors, marketing, and film and television projects.
“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 Johnson, who played college football at the University of Miami during the Hurricanes dynasty era. “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, in its second itineration under Vince McMahon, started strongly in the spring in 10 markets and got though half of its season before the COVID-19 pandemic suspended play. The league filed for bankruptcy the day after it suspended operations, listing assets and liabilities in the range of $10 million to $50 million with the largest creditor listed as the St. Louis Sports Commission at $1.6 million.
“It is a privilege to partner with Dany and Dwayne on the acquisition of the XFL,” said Cardinale, founder and managing partner of RedBird Capital Partners. “Their track record in building dynamic businesses speaks for itself and their vision and passion for developing the XFL as a world class sports and entertainment property will enable a new future for this organization. As their partner in acquiring and relaunching the XFL, RedBird will bring its own track record and experience in building world class companies in sports and live entertainment to help realize their vision.”