The XFL is staying in the family.
Actor and former WWE star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and two partners bought the XFL for around $15 million, they announced Monday, hours before the revamped football league was set to be sold via auction.
Johnson teamed up with private investment firm RedBird Capital Partners and Dany Garcia to purchase the XFL, which declared bankruptcy in April after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the league to shut down the first season of its second iteration.
The XFL was formerly owned by WWE chairman Vince McMahon.
It appears Johnson will take an active role in bringing the XFL back.
"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,” Johnson said, according to Kevin Seifert of ESPN. "With pride and gratitude for all 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 eight-team league, which had a broadcast deal with FOX, brought in 3 million viewers in its first week while also creating a strong social media following. During its fifth and final week, however, the XFL had around half that viewership.
The original XFL was founded in 2001 but lasted just one season.
Johnson, the star of the "Fast and Furious" movie franchise and HBO's football drama series "Ballers," is one of Hollywood's highest-paid actors. He has a net worth of around $320 million.