The Rock and his business partners are now able to move forward with their purchase of Vince McMahon's XFL football league.
As noted earlier this week, Rock, along with business partners Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital, recently began the purchase of the XFL for $15 million. However, XFL creditors filed a motion to stop the purchase. In an update, the acquisition was approved in a Delaware bankruptcy court this morning, according to Kevin Seifert of ESPN.
United States District Judge Laurie Silverstein has allowed the transaction to move forward after the XFL resolved the dispute over the $15 million sale price with the committee of unsecured creditors.
The Rock and his partners will officially take control of the XFL form McMahon later this month. They have formed a LLC to run the league, called Alpha Acquico.
It was noted that the sale also includes $9 million in payment of cure amounts. There were more than 30 individuals or groups who indicated initial interest in the XFL sale, but Rock and his group submitted the only qualified bid. The league canceled a planned auction scheduled for Monday, and then awarded the league to Alpha Acquico.
XFL President and CEO Jeffrey Pollack hailed the sale to former associates of McMahon as a "Hollywood ending" to the process.
The Rock and his partners are planning a launch of their XFL in 2021.
"We're doing all the steps that need to happen for the execution of that," Garcia said. "But we're also being mindful to what has actually been successful. It has been really interesting to see that [in sports], when you create a bubble, your players are safe. When you don't, it's chaos. We are a league, because of the number of teams we have, that actually can create a bubble environment. Those discussions are active."
Garcia said she and Rock will have a hands-on approach to running the XFL. She will have an executive position with the league.
"We've been in close discussion with the current XFL management team," Garcia said when asked about hiring other executive-level leaders. "There are a lot of excellent people in that team. While it's not 100 percent just turning the lights on, there is still a tremendous amount of infrastructure and relationships that you can actually call people back, pull people back. We saw the work that they were doing for this year, and there was some excellent, excellent work. There is a team there."
Vince first folded the XFL back in 2001 after one season. He brought it back this year and the league had found some success before being forced to close again due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The league averaged 1.9 million TV viewers per game this season, and generated nearly $20 million in gross revenues this year, according to court filings. It had projected $46 million in gross revenues for the 10-game re-launch season this year, with each data point reportedly exceeding internal expectations.
Stay tuned for updates on The Rock's XFL. For those who missed it, below is his original tweet from earlier this week:
With my trail blazing partner @DanyGarciaCo & Red Bird Capital, we have acquired the XFL.— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) August 3, 2020
With gratitude & passion I've built a career with my own two hands and will apply these callouses to our @xfl2020 brand.
Excited to create something special for the fans! #XFL #fullcircle pic.twitter.com/LprJ6HjglD