Things have been very quiet in the XFL ever since the CFL and XFL ending their talks a week before the CFL season began. The only news about the XFL came from an interview with CFL commissioner Randy Ambrose discussing the talks between the two leagues. Other than that, radio silence.
That doesn’t mean we have not heard things. A rumor floating around over the last several weeks has seen the light of day on the Rod Pederson Show. It involves the sale of the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders to a buyer with an XFL connection.
Pedersen’s connection to the CFL runs deep. Having spent 20 seasons as the voice of the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. He said this to say about the Stampeders potential owner on today’s show.
“They got a buyer for the Calgary Stampeders. The guy has a connection to the XFL. You might not like what I have to say, but I’m not lying to you.”
The Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC), owners of the Calgary Flames of the NHL and Calgary Stampeders, have been rumored to be trying to unload the Stamps for some time.
A CFL franchise value is not anywhere close to the value of an NFL franchise. In April, Ottawa REDBLACKS play-by-play man AJ Jakubec told Pedersen a former CFL executive, told him some major market CFL franchises are worth $1 each.
“Toronto Argonauts, what are they worth? $1. Montreal Alouettes, what are they worth? $1,” Jakubec said a CFL exec told him. Other CFL franchises like the Roughriders and REDBLACKS are worth in the millions.
We are unsure where the Stampeders valuation falls in, but it has never been lumped in with the big money makers or the big money losers in the CFL.
Could The Rock Be The Buyer
Rod implies in a tongue-in-cheek way that a person with XFL ties could be The Rock himself. The Rock played with the Stamps for a brief time and was cut with $7 in his pocket. Hence the name of his and Dany Garcia’s production company Seven Bucks Productions. They just had another successful movie release along with Disney with Jungle Cruise.
This year’s season cliffhanger of Young Rock on NBC had a young Dwayne Johnson making the trip to Canada to try out for the CFL. Having The Rock come full circle and purchase the team that cut him would make news worldwide as Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is a worldwide megastar. The tie into next year’s Young Rock would be huge and create quite a buzz.
Another potential name could be Red Bird Capital. However, it would be highly unlikely RedBird would invest in a CFL team. They have deals with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. Franchises that are worth billions, to name a few.
But with a vacuum of very little XFL news, this could be nothing at all. The CFL has struggled to find owners for teams over the years, and this ‘rumor’ might be out there to close a deal with another partner or use The Rocks name to get more money or interest in the team. You never know.
How crazy would it be if The Rock, who has the money to do it, made the deal? For those who would say The Rock knows nothing about running a football team, they would be a fool to suggest he would. He would hire the best talent to run the team as most owners of professional sports teams do.
What would be the point of owning a CFL team for The Rock? Maybe owning a CFL franchise would scratch the itch of being part of football, but where would that leave the XFL? Can you own a CFL franchise and pro football league in the US? Where would that leave the XFL in priority?
Then there is his impact on the CFL. How would that change the balance of power in the CFL board room? Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver were more bullish when it comes to talks with the XFL. If The Rock owns the Stampeders that would make it four teams potentially interested in changing parts of the CFL’s business model.
If Seven Bucks Productions were pursuing a major tv deal. The Rock owning a CFL franchise and going back to Canadian would make for some great television. But would it make great business sense in the long term? Would he have the time for it?
Like everything with the XFL for the past year-plus, we have more questions than answers. We do what we have always been doing, waiting for an answer and direction.
Watch the full episode of The Rod Pederson Show. We start at the part where he talks about the rumor.
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