Sports

XFL planning 2023 return after CFL talks tabled

The XFL announced on Wednesday that it is planning to relaunch in 2023 after talks with the Canadian Football League about collaboration between the two leagues were tabled.

The XFL and CFL both said in separate statements that the decision was jointly reached between the leagues.

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“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.

After the CFL’s announcement, the XFL announced on its website that it is returning in 2023 and not next year as was previously announced.

“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,” the league said in a statement to the Sports Business Journal.

The CFL said it is set to open its 2021 regular season on Aug. 5 and hold its championship game, the Grey Cup, on Dec. 12 in Hamilton, Ontario.

“We are looking forward to this year and a bright future for our league,” the league said in the statement.

The CFL and XFL confirmed in March that they were discussing options for a potential partnership as they planned their return to the field following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CFL canceled its 2020 season after failing to secure $30 million in aid from the Canadian government.

The XFL canceled its 2020 season after five weeks of games and was put into bankruptcy proceedings by former owner Vince McMahon. Dany Garcia and fellow owners Dwayne Johnson and RedBird Capital Partners paid $15 million for the league last summer.

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert contributed to this report.


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