Sports | April 13, 2021 10:09 am

Champions of XFL and CFL Could Meet in New Title Game

The NFL's substantially smaller siblings have agreed to "collaborate, innovate, and grow the game of football"

2020 XFL logo in front of football team logos
Don't count the XFL out just yet.
XFL

After reaching an agreement to “collaborate, innovate, and grow the game of football” last month, the XFL and CFL could be closing in on a deal to have the champions of their respective leagues meet in a new title game that would be the off-brand version of the NFL’s Super Bowl.

The title game between the two leagues, which might be supplemented by an All-Star Game featuring players from north and south of the U.S.-Canada border, would be the first step in a long-term plan to merge the two pro football leagues, according to Front Office Sports.

“Both leagues would play their regular seasons — there could be ‘interleague’ games, similar to MLB — and once the respective XFL and CFL champions are crowned, they’d face off in an interleague championship game,” according to the publication.

In order to make the postseason interleague clash happen, some scheduling changes would have to take place as the XFL is a spring league (when it is a league at all) while the CFL season typically takes place starting in the summer and stretches into November.

The XFL, which is now owned by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, his ex-wife Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital, returned in 2020 but was forced to shut down due to 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 last month. “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. I look forward to our continued discussions and we will update the sports community as we have more to share.”

The CFL didn’t play in 2020 and reportedly lost between $60 and $80 million last year, but is slated to return in early June. However, there have been some indications that a postponement might be coming soon.

It sounds like the earliest the two leagues would begin to host games in tandem would be 2022, though it seems 2023 is more likely.

“We’ll figure out a smart season that’ll create phenomenal opportunities for players and be the best experience for fans,” Johnson tweeted last month. “I played ball for years and wrestled 280+ nights a year (for years) so I know the value in smart scheduling and recovery.”