Two months after the revived XFL According to The Athletic’s Daniel Kaplan, the XFL’s investment bank is currently in “active discussions” with dozens of potential purchasers who want to fund and restart the league for a 2021 season.its inaugural season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the now-bankrupt spring football league may have found new life.
In mid-April, days after laying off nearly its entire staff, the XFL filed for bankruptcy. Owner/founder Vince McMahon said then that he would not try to buy back the league, and he’s reiterated that stance in an attempt to refute accusations he used bankruptcy as a tool to purchase the XFL for “pennies on the dollar.” With McMahon out of the picture, however, “there is a robust market” for the league, Kaplan reported, not only to fill a spring 2021 schedule but prevent any competitors from seizing on an opportunity to supplement the NFL with additional professional football.
Twenty different bidders, to be exact, have executed non-disclosure agreements to negotiate with Houlihan Lokey, the XFL’s global investment bank, according to Kaplan. Six more are in the process of doing so. And all indications are that all potential purchasers intend to try to bring the XFL back onto the turf — and TV — by the spring.
“In fact, I understand the Debtor has modeled for 2021 a made-for-TV, 12-week tournament-style approach to its business,” Houlihan managing partner William Hardie told Kaplan, “since the XFL is particularly well suited for a crowd-free experience that could thrive in the current environment, given its existing innovations such as in-game audio from players and coaches and live on-screen sports wagering information.”
The sales process could run all the way through mid-September, per Kaplan. It’s unclear just how much could change about the league in the event of a sale. League commissioner Oliver Luck, who was among the countless layoffs during the XFL’s shutdown, reportedly reached out to multiple venues from the league’s 2020 season about reinstating stadium licenses.after netting a reported $20 million contract to head the league. XFL president Jeffrey Pollack, meanwhile, has