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As Sportico reports, the investment firm behind the league purchase spent $15 million on the XFL, just hours before an auction was set to take place. The purchase will be split evenly between the investors, with Johnson's business partner/ex-wife Dany Garcia to be a stakeholder also. This isn't the first time RedBird has made an investment in sport, as the firm previously invested in numerous NFL teams and players.
Vince McMahon—who is also the CEO of WWE, marking a fun connection to Johnson's wrestling days—filed the league for bankruptcy back in April, closer to the start of the coronavirus pandemic. When the season was canceled due to COVID-19, the XFL had gotten off to a strong start with its broadcast agreement with Fox. It remains to be seen what TV networks or streaming companies will want to reinvest in the league, but with Johnson's star power attached it's likely a more appealing idea than it was earlier this year. McMahon only announced the reboot of the XFL in 2018, developing the eight-team league over the past two years. Originally, the XFL was created in 2001 with NBC, but it folded after just one season.
Cardinale's RedBird Capital, meanwhile, recently bought French soccer team Toulouse to bolster its investment in international sports. Cardinale also teamed up with Oakland Athletics Billy Beane to create a special purpose acquisition company that focuses on purchasing companies across sports, media, and data analytics.