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Could the XFL merge with the USFL after ending its partnership talks with the CFL?

Tampa Bay Vipers v Los Angeles Wildcats
Tampa Bay Vipers v Los Angeles Wildcats

The XFL is now scheduled to return in 2023 after its talks with the Canadian Football League (CFL) about a collaboration ended this week. After the pandemic forced both leagues to cancel their 2020 seasons, there were hopes they could work together to help each other recover from the COVID-19 losses.

Both leagues released statements today.

"Our talks with the XFL, exploring the potential for collaboration and innovation, have been positive and constructive. While we remain open to finding new ways to work together in the future, we and our XFL counterparts have jointly decided to not pursue any formal arrangements at this time," the CFL said in a statement.

The XFL released the following statement to the Sports Business Journal:

"While our discussions with the CFL did not ultimately lead to a collaboration, the effort reinforced our belief and commitment to developing the XFL for international spring football. We look forward to seeing everyone for kickoff in spring of 2023.”

Is an USFL/XFL merger now possible?

Now that the XFL is no longer in talks with the CFL, could they look to their spring football rival, the newly established USFL, as a future partner?

The USFL announced in June that, after nearly 40 years since its inception, the league was making a comeback in March 2022.

At present there is little known about the recently reformed USFL. They reportedly have a broadcast deal with Fox Sports and at least eight teams are set to compete.

"I'm extremely passionate about football and the opportunity to work with Fox Sports, and to bring back the USFL in 2022 was an endeavor worth pursuing," said Brian Woods, co-founder of the new USFL and founder and CEO of The Spring League. "We look forward to providing players a new opportunity to compete in a professional football league and giving fans everywhere the best football viewing product possible during what is typically a period devoid of professional football."

XFL new owners

The XFL was relaunched by WWE CEO Vince McMahon in 2018 and the first season kicked off in February 2020. Due to the pandemic, the season was canceled after just five weeks and the league filed for bankruptcy in April, 2020.

Actor Dwayne Johnson, his ex-wife and business partner Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital Partners purchased the XFL for $15 million last summer.

The new owners could see the USFL as the perfect partner moving forward. There isn't enough revenue or talent for two spring football leagues to succeed so it makes sense for both sides to discuss a merger.

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Edited by Rohit Mishra
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