US spring football league the XFL has confirmed that it will relaunch in 2023 after the Canadian Football League (CFL) announced that the pair have put talks over a potential partnership on hold.
The XFL and CFL confirmed in March that they had entered into formal discussions to explore a possible collaboration, but the Canadian league said on Wednesday that the two leagues will not be formalising a relationship in the near future.
‘Our talks with the XFL, exploring the potential for collaboration and innovation, have been positive and constructive,’ the statement read.
‘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 added that it is now working towards a 5th August start date for its 2021 season, which will culminate on 12th December.
Talks between the two leagues came after the XFL was acquired for US$15 million by an investment group including Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and private equity firm RedBird Capital Partners. The league had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy just a handful of games into its comeback 2020 season, citing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The XFL previously announced plans to return to action in 2022, but the league has now decided to delay its relaunch for a further year.
‘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,’ the XFL said in its own statement. ‘We look forward to seeing everyone for kickoff in spring of 2023.’