Commissioner Randy Ambrosie is taking a serious look at whether the CFL smells what The Rock is cooking.

Ambrosie revealed today the CFL has entered into serious discussions with the American-based XFL about the possibility of forming a partnership.

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Former pro wrestler Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson is a co-owner of the XFL.

The two sides are looking to “identify opportunities for the leagues to collaborate, innovate, and grow the game of football.”

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Ambrosie emphatically stated nothing has been decided and all potential options will be explored. Anything agreed upon would kick in either in 2022 or beyond.

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Statements released by Ambrosie and XFL chairwoman/co-owner Dany Garcia indicated the talks are still in the early stages.

“We look forward to exploring how we might work with one of the most innovative sports brands in the world to grow the game, engage fans in new ways, and reach new audiences,” Ambrosie said. “We look forward to seeing what possibilities our discussions might uncover, and to sharing those with our fans as the process unfolds.”

After being forced to cancel the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CFL is expecting to return to the field this year.

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The eight-team XFL was purchased last year by Johnson, business partner Dany Garcia and Redbird Capital and is expected to resume play in the spring of 2022. Its 2020 season, under previous ownership headed by WWE chairman Vince McMahon, was called off after five weeks because of the pandemic.

“Since we first acquired the XFL, we have focused on identifying partners who share our vision and values on and off the field,” Garcia said.

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“A vision filled with opportunity, innovation and the highest level of entertainment value for the benefit of our athletes, fans and communities. 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.”

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Johnson said in October that the XFL would return in the spring of 2022, but XFL president and CEO Jeffrey Pollack said Wednesday that those plans are now on pause.

— With files from Reuters 

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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