The XFL and CFL are discussing options of a potential collaboration as they plan their return to the field in a post COVID-19 pandemic world.
Both commissioners from the respective leagues released statements and while they did did not reference the possibility of a merger. They indicated that talks are in the early stage of a potential partnership.
Statements released by CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie:
“Canada has an exciting game and devoted fans, and our discussion with the XFL provides a tremendous opportunity to build on that strong foundation. 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. We look forward to seeing what possibilities our discussions might uncover, and to sharing those with our fans as the process unfolds.”
Statement from Dany Garcia, XFL Chairwoman and Owner:
“Since we first acquired the XFL, we have focused on identifying partners who share our vision and values on and off the field. 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. I look forward to our continued discussions and we will update the sports community as we have more to share.”
The CFL canceled its 2020 season after failing to secure $30 million in aid from the Canadian government. It has announced a full 2021 schedule that would begin with preseason games in late May, but it is unclear how the ongoing pandemic will impact attendance at games, which accounts for the league’s primary revenue stream.
The XFL canceled its 2020 season after five weeks of games and was put into bankruptcy proceedings by former owner Vince McMahon. Garcia and fellow owners Dwayne Johnson and RedBird Capital Partners paid $15 million for the league last summer.