The CFL And The XFL Go On A Date

Both businesses need help in the marketplace.

The XFL expired in 2020 and because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Football League was unable to put its product on the field. A group of investors that included the one-time wrestler and actor Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, picked up whatever was left of the XFL for pennies on the dollar and plans to get a product on the field in 2022. The CFL is edging closer to a return to the marketplace but given that much of Canada is locked down it would seem that the CFL will be a TV show when the season does kickoff in June. On the surface, it seems neither the new XFL, a third try at using those letters in establishing a league with the first two spring leagues folding, and the CFL are well suited partners. But apparently people from the CFL and the XFL see some possibilities that something in the realm of business between them could be worked out.

The XFL has not announced where it intends to set up shop. The prior XFL that operated in 2020 had teams in eight American cities. The new XFL owners are planning to make the XFL an international brand. In a way it makes sense to start in Canada. But the XFL has to establish itself in the United States as a bona fide business and it has not yet. The Canadian Football League is older than American professional football and while both the Canadian and American versions evolved out of rugby, by 1876, the American game had vastly different rules than the Canadian game. The CFL wants to expand beyond its Canadian base and was looking to Mexico as a place that it could explore. That was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CFL and XFL could take different paths to find a pot of gold.

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The D.C. Defenders, right, line up against the Seattle Dragons for the opening kickoff of the opening football game of the XFL season, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Washington, DC. (AP Photo/Stephen Whyno)