The XFL rebooted this past spring, with the league year concluding with the XFL championship game on May 12 as the Renegades beat the Defenders 35–26 to capture the title.
It was the first season for the XFL since 2020 when the league’s return was spoiled at the halfway point due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It was the first full season for the XFL that was played since ’01, when the league subsequently folded.
So how successful was the reboot of the XFL this past spring? Early returns are not great.
The XFL reportedly lost upwards of $60 million this season, and cut some jobs as a result, according to a report from Jabari Young of Forbes.
Enter Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who now has a controlling interest in the XFL and is looking to not only grow its following, but turn it profitable. The first year under Johnson and business partner Dany Garcia was rough, but the duo believes there’s a path ahead.
Next season, the league has a revenue target of $100 million, with about a quarter of its income coming from TV partner ESPN, which pays the XFL $20 million per season to broadcast its games.
Garcia believes that there is a path to success for the league moving forward, as the XFL has capital commitments in place for years, including sponsorships with Progressive and Under Armor.
“We’re extremely well-capitalized for the long-term,” Garcia said. “This is our new WWE. The next massive live property.”
Johnson shares a similar vision for the long-term, even with a difficult road ahead. “My goal was to get through the first season,” he said. “This is not just an endeavor that’s going to full up a portfolio and one day we flip it and we’re out. This is legacy. This is the long game.”
Only time will tell whether Johnson and Garcia’s bet on the XFL will be a winning one, but they’re certainly going to go out swinging either way.