Muscle Sport Magazine

XFL – CFL Merger Talk Intriguing For Both Leagues’ Stability

Using broad and speculative terms such as collaborate, allignment and innovate, the heads of both the XFL and Canadian Football League seem to be treading carefully on what will in all likelihood become a merger of sorts. New XFL owners Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (a former CFL player) and Dany Garcia (his ex-wife and longtime business partner) have yet to give any details of what their plans and intentions are for the league they won with a $15 million bid last year and with the recent news, the XFL’s 2022 season has been put on hold until the talks with the CFL are concluded.

The XFL had announced this past October that it would not hit the field in 2021 while regrouping under the new ownership.




Both leagues have been effected by the pandemic and building up some excitement from their respective fan bases – as well as the curious – may result in a very shrewd business move if they do in fact merge.

The XFL was halfway through their second ‘inaugural’ season (following the 2001 one-year existence) when the lockdown occurred and had to shut down after five weeks. Owner Vince McMahon held on for a period of time before declaring the league bankrupt and opening it up to bidders. The CFL




“The CFL has expressed that similar sentiment and jointly we recognize a great opportunity to build exciting innovative football experiences that make the most of each league’s unique strengths,” XFL chairwoman and owner Dany Garcia said in a statement. “I look forward to our continued discussions and we will update the sports community as we have more to share.”

“Canada has an exciting game and devoted fans, and our discussion with the XFL provides a tremendous opportunity to build on that strong foundation,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement.




If this merger does occur, it will be reminiscent of the early 1990s experiment to add United States based teams to the CFL. Most clubs did not fare well, but the Baltimore Stallions (originally the CFL Colts until the NFL team issued a cease-and-decist order for the nickname) actually won the 1995 Grey Cup – Canada’s equivalent to the Super Bowl – to acclaim for their loss in the championship game the previous campaign.

Leave it to the NFL to stick its nose in and ruin a success story. That offseason, Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell moved his franchise to Baltimore (who lost the Colts to Indianapolis in 1984) to begin play there in 1996. Even though the football fans supported the Stallions (averaging 37,000 and 30,000 in their two seasons, respectively), the defending CFL champs ended up moving to Toronto to become the third incarnation of the Alouettes. Having an NFL team playing in the same building (Memorial Stadium) would have been a tough sell in a town that never got over losing the Colts. So for the 1996 CFL season, the ‘American experiment’ came to an end and all teams were based north of the border.


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