STAMFORD, Conn. — The XFL announced Wednesday that it plans to relaunch in spring 2023 following tabling discussions with the Canadian Football League (CFL) about a possible collaboration.
The leagues would state in separate statements that the decision to halt the talks were jointly reached.
“Our talks with the XFL, exploring the potential for collaboration and innovation, have been positive and constructive,” the CFL said in a news release. “While we remain open to finding new ways to work together in the future, we and our XFL counterparts have jointly decided to not pursue any formal arrangements at this time.”
In a statement to the Sports Business Journal, the XFL added: “While our discussions with the CFL did not ultimately lead to a collaboration, the effort reinforced our belief and commitment to developing the XFL for international spring football. We look forward to seeing everyone for kickoff in spring of 2023.”
CFL officials anticipate the launch of their 2021 season on August 5. The tentative date for the Grey Cup championship game is set for December 12 in Hamilton, Ontario.
“We are looking forward to this year and a bright future for our league,” the CFL said.
The leagues confirmed in March that they were exploring partnership options. This was in preparation for both leagues returning to the field following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pandemic was a source of considerable trouble for the CFL and XFL
The XFL scrapped its 2020 season after five weeks with high attendance numbers in Seattle and St. Louis. Soon afterward, owner Alpha Entertainment and Vince McMahon filed for bankruptcy. An embattled legal battle between McMahon and former commissioner Oliver Luck continues.
In a bankruptcy auction, an investment group comprised of Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital Partners, Dwayne “The Rock Johnson, and his ex-wife Dany Garcia bought the league for $15 million.
The CFL decided to cancel its 2020 season after failing to secure $30 million in aid from the Canadian government.
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.