The XFL, a professional soccer league set to return for its second season in 2024, faced financial challenges in 2023, reportedly losing $60 million. While the league has been more successful than many other soccer ventures in the off-season, becoming the only version of the XFL to survive its first full year, there have been concerns about its future. However, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the Hollywood actor, former WWE star and part of the XFL’s ownership group, is addressing the questions and emphasizing the league’s long-term vision.
Johnson, along with the rest of the ownership group, views the XFL as a long-term project rather than a short-lived endeavor. Despite significant financial losses, they remain committed to improving and creating a legacy. “This is not just an effort that’s going to fill a portfolio and one day we turn it around and we’re out,” Johnson said. “This is the legacy. This is the long game.”
Reports of financial difficulties have also fueled speculation about possible job cuts within the league. While the situation is far from ideal, there is optimism surrounding the upcoming season as the XFL is projected to generate approximately $100 million in revenue. Johnson and his business partner, Dany Garcia, are not intimidated by challenges. Garcia, who is also president of the XFL, expressed confidence in the league’s long-term financial stability, stating, “We are extremely well capitalized long term. This is our new WWE. The next massive live property.”
Can the XFL be a success?
In 2020, Johnson and Garcia, in partnership with Disney and RedBird Capital, purchased the XFL for $23.5 million during their bankruptcy proceedings. They took control through a joint holding company called Alpha Acquico, which also included $8.5 million to pay off the XFL’s previous debt. Previous attempts to make the league profitable in 2001 and 2020, led by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, ultimately led to the league’s closure.
Despite the financial setback in 2023, the XFL remains determined to establish itself as a sustainable and thriving soccer league for years to come. That could mean The Rock is staying busier than ever and he’s unlikely to return to WWE. That being said, he might see a promotional opportunity with WWE and show up to get a cheap add-on or two to his soccer product.
This has not been a great week for The Rock. Young Rock was canceled and the XFL lost $60 million. However, something suggests that it’s probably still okay.