xfl and usfl merger 2024



By Alberto Arellano

The XFL and the USFL are set to merge both leagues without colliding with the NFL scheduling, which is now the UFL.

 

A football helmet on the football field. The XFL and the USFL will be combining the teams totalling to 16 teams. (LUCAS ANDRADE/UNSPLASHED) 

 

The XFL and the USFL are planning to merge leagues.  These are minor league teams that play in the spring after the NFL season is officially over.

 

The XFL is currently owned by actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, his ex-wife, Dany Garcia Rienzi, and RedBird Capital Partners while the USFL is currently owned by the FOX Corporation.

 

The XFL lost $60 million in 2023, but it is anticipating a $100 million profit in 2024. The XFL plans to make-up for its lost profits and earn more as a result of the merger of the two minor league football teams.  The XFL also has ESPN’s $20 million annual rights payment and sponsorship deals with Progressive and Under Armour that will add to its revenue.

 

The merger of both leagues and the final combined team playing on air will fill springtime programming at a lower cost to populate the separate platforms of each individual team.  They will also be able to gain the audience of the other and provide new advertising and marketing platforms.

 

“The XFL and the USFL aren’t looking to compete with the NFL,” said M&A Attorney Nouvelle Gonzalo, managing partner at the Gonzalo Law Firm. “They’re looking to raise the level of play in the minor leagues by combining the best two minor league teams and promote the spirit of the game going in the off season from the NFL.  This is the benefit of a merger that brings together the best aspects of two companies that complement one another well.”

 

Vince McMahon originally founded the XFL in 2001 in a joint venture between the World Wrestling Federation and NBC. The league only lasted for one season in a $35 million-dollar loss by both partners and closed.

 

The XFL relaunched in 2018, but shortly thereafter the league ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Later, Johnson and Garcia led the ownership team that purchased the XFL for $15 million from McMahon. The league currently has eight teams.  In addition, Johnson is able to an engine behind the marketing and public relations campaign for the XFL.

 

The other minor league team in this merger is the USFL which was previously launched in 1983 and had 18 teams. The league later ceased operations in 1986.

 

Today, the USFL was relaunched in 2021 with its inaugural season in 2022 with only eight teams. 

 

The revival of the USFL drew an average audience of 1.2 million viewers for their championship game on NBC, according to the Sports Business Journal. It was lower than the viewership of the XFL.