The XFL lost $60 million this year, but 'The Rock' says he's playing the long game

Word of the league's loss is likely to spark memories of the American Alliance of Football's short time in San Antonio.

click to enlarge XFL League owners Dany Garcia (left) and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson (right) award the championship trophy to the Arlington Renegades at the Alamodome on May 13. - Michael Karlis
Michael Karlis
XFL League owners Dany Garcia (left) and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson (right) award the championship trophy to the Arlington Renegades at the Alamodome on May 13.
The XFL, the semi-pro football league that received rather mundane enthusiasm from San Antonio sports fans, reported a stunning $60 million loss in its first year of operations, according to Forbes.

Despite the large deficit and middling fan base, league owner Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson — who along with his ex-wife, Dany Garcia, bought the rights to the league for $15 million in 2020 — assured fans in an interview with Forbes that he's in it for the long haul.

"This is not just an endeavor that's going to fill up a portfolio and one day we flip it and we're out," Johnson told the magazine. "This is legacy. This is the long game."

Garcia further reiterated the league's commitment to long-term success, saying the spring league is "extremely well capitalized for the long-term."

Even so, the XFL's losses are sure to spark memories from San Antonio Brahmas fans of a separate spring league that pulled up stakes here. The San Antonio Commanders of the American Alliance of Football played at the Alamodome before the league folded before finishing the season in 2019.

The XFL's May 13 Championship game at the Alamodome only drew 22, 754 fans and a meager TV viewership of 1.4 million, raising further questions about how much demand there is for a second national pro-football league. Indeed, the only headlines that found their way into some local media outlets from the involved an incident in which a former Express-News photojournalist was accidentally tackled.

Johnson told Forbes he believes the league will be profitable by 2027. However, if it continues to bleed money at its current rate, the aging Alamodome may be looking for ahead to the next sports franchise.

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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