CFL, XFL in discussions about potential partnership

CFL, XFL in discussions about potential partnership

Commissioner Randy Ambrosie is taking a serious look at whether the CFL smells what The Rock is cooking.

Ambrosie revealed today the CFL has entered into serious discussions with the American-based XFL about the possibility of forming a partnership.

Former pro wrestler Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson is a co-owner of the XFL.

The XFL markets itself as a much faster version of the NFL with the target of playing games in under three hours.

The league plays with a continuous clock that doesn’t stop when the play goes out of bounds or a pass is incomplete. The XFL has also altered several standard NFL rules including no extra point after touchdowns and multiple forward passes allowed per play.

The two sides are looking to “identify opportunities for the leagues to collaborate, innovate, and grow the game of football.”

In a tweet sent out on Wednesday by the CFL’s official account, it suggests the league is looking at “alignment” with XFL ownership.

“Jointly, we recognize a great opportunity to build exciting innovative football experiences that make the most of each league’s unique strengths,” said Dany Garcia, XFL Chairwoman and Owner.

Ambrosie, however, has emphatically stated nothing has been officially decided and all potential options will be explored. Anything agreed upon would land in either in 2022 or beyond.

The CFL cancelled the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the league is expecting to return to the field this year.

The eight-team XFL was purchased last year by Johnson, business partner Dany Garcia and Redbird Capital and is expected to resume play in the spring of 2022. Its 2020 season, under previous ownership headed by WWE chairman Vince McMahon, was called off after five weeks because of the pandemic.

“Blending the CFL’s rich heritage with our fresh thinking, and the unique reach and experience of our ownership could be transformative for the game,” added Jeffrey Pollack, XFL President and CEO.

As for Johnson, he spent time on the practice roster of the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders in 1995 before being released. He then went on to other things.

With files to the Canadian Press.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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