The XFL will return on Feb. 18 for its 2023 season, marking the third year of the league’s history. Its inception goes back to 2001 when WWE executive Vince McMahon found the original league. We break down whether he will have any involvement as the newest season is set to arrive this weekend.
Following the league’s lone season in 2001, McMahon sought to rebuild and relaunched the league for a second season close to 20 years later. After relaunching the league in 2020, the remainder of the schedule was canceled midway through March of the same year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of playing only five games of the season, it was announced on April 10 that the league was suspending operations and that all employees would be terminated.
A few days later, the league filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, stating that the Coronavirus pandemic had deprived the league of tens of millions of dollars in revenue.
As part of the bankruptcy filing, court filings revealed that a key stipulation of the agreement was that McMahon would not agree to buy back the XFL in the aftermath. By August 2020, the purchase and subsequent ownership transition process were complete, with a consortium led by Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, and Gerry Cardinale of RedBird Capital Partners agreeing to purchase the league for $15 million. The aforementioned group will lead the league’s return for the 2023 season, with McMahon no longer being involved in the XFL’s operations.