The United States Football League and Dwayne Johnson’s reborn XFL have made it official as they announced plans to merge on Thursday.
No terms of any potential formal merger were unveiled, and the deal remains subject to customary regulatory approvals if it is to be completed. But the intended transaction aims to create one spring pro football league, “with substantial capabilities and resources to ensure future growth and continue to enhance the development of the collective players, coaches, and staff that are coming together,” both parties said in a statement on Thursday.
The USFL as a nationally televised spring league began its second season on April 15, 2023, with Fox Sports and NBC Sports as media partners on a 43 regular- and postseason game schedule. The eight-team USFL league plays in Canton, Ohio, Birmingham, Memphis, and Detroit, with former NFL Dallas Cowboys player and current Fox NFL analyst Daryl Johnston as president of football operations.
For its part, the XFL is a rival professional football league with eight teams in Arlington, San Antonio and Houston in Texas, Las Vegas, Orlando, Seattle, St. Louis and Washington D.C. In 2020, actor and producer Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital bought the XFL after the football league founded by WWE CEO Vince McMahon went bankrupt.
The latest iteration of the XFL launched in Feb. 2023, backed by a TV deal with Disney that sees all regular season and playoff games running on ESPN, ABC and FX.