While the XFL reboot never got a real chance to get off the ground, as pandemic precautions cancelled the 2020 season before it could finish, the league saw new life after Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and business partner Danny Garcia purchased it this past August. Last month, the XFL’s third re-launch was said to be put on hold due to the league entering “formal talks” with the CFL.
A full-fledged merger between the XFL and CFL still appears unlikely, but the two football leagues are operating on a friendly relationship.
Speaking with CFL.ca, Canadian Football League Commissioner Randy Ambrosie noted that their discussions with the XFL have been “very positive,” but they are still taking the working relationship one step at a time.
“What we’re focused on is really understanding what this opportunity might look like,” Ambrosie said. “If I back up from there, one of the things that I shared with an alumni group that I spoke with at their annual general meeting last night was what has become increasingly obvious to me is that the business of our league has never been as good as the players who play our game and the game itself.”
Ambrosie further detailed that the CFL’s biggest goal out of working with the XFL would be to improve their business model.
“What we’re looking at and what we’ve been working on on our own is improving our business model. We’ve made a lot of adjustments in the past number of months to make sure that we’ve got the best business model possible,” Ambrosie said. “The discussions with the XFL are really focused on that. How would working together help to improve the business model? When you get that answer, you have nearly an infinite list of possibilities on how you would make it work. What our fans really deserve and what our amateur football partners really deserve is a business that’s as good as our game. That’s what we’re working to deliver here.”
Ambrosie’s update emphasizes that the two sides are very much still in talks, but everything points to both leagues hoping to better each other.
“We don’t have those answers today but we do know that we are working with world class people,” Ambrosie said. “Every time you are on a call with them, you are struck by how genuine, authentic, how sincere they are in trying to determine if there is an opportunity to do better, do better together in some form. That’s been the spirit of our discussion so far.”
The XFL previously aimed to re-launch in 2022, but could be delayed further depending on how long talks with the CFL last.