XFL, CFL exploring potential partnership

Feb 16, 2020; Carson, California, USA; XFL referee Reggie Smith gestures with the XFL logo as backdrop in the first quarter of the game between the LA Wildcats and the Dallas Renegades at Dignity Health Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The XFL and the Canadian Football League are exploring a potential post-pandemic partnership, representatives of both leagues confirmed Wednesday.

Statements released by CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie and XFL chairwoman/co-owner Dany Garcia indicated the talks are still in the early stages.

“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,” Ambrosie said. “We look forward to seeing what possibilities our discussions might uncover, and to sharing those with our fans as the process unfolds.”

The nine-team CFL, which canceled its entire 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is scheduled to begin the 2021 campaign in June.

The eight-team XFL stopped play during its inaugural 2020 season after five weeks due to the coronavirus crisis. The league filed for bankruptcy in April and was purchased in August by Garcia and former professional wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

“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.”

Johnson said in October that the XFL would return in the spring of 2022, but XFL president and CEO Jeffrey Pollack said Wednesday that those plans are now on pause.

–Field Level Media