World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) shares closed at an all-time high in trading Thursday, hours after WWE CEO Vince McMahon announced he was investing $100 million in a rebooted XFL professional football league.
Continue Reading Below
McMahon funded the XFL’s relaunch by selling $100 million worth of WWE shares to launch Alpha Entertainment, a separate entity from the wrestling brand. XFL will operate independently from WWE, without any appearances from WWE personalities, McMahon confirmed at an introductory press conference. He will also remain WWE’s chairman and CEO, without a major public-facing role in the football league.
“This may be the last you see of me in terms of being out in front. We’re going to hire people who really know what they’re doing, experienced executives, who will be out in front. It won’t be me,” McMahon said.
WWE’s stock rose nearly 2% and closed at $34.13, marking the first time the global entertainment brand has ever finished above $34. Shares are up more than 50% since October. The company’s paid subscription video service, WWE Network, has more than 1.5 million global subscribers.
McMahon said the XFL will formally relaunch in early 2020 with eight teams and a 10-week season. The league is seeking input from fans on how to formulate its rules and game structure, though McMahon said the focus would be on “a shorter, faster-paced, family friendly and easier-to-understand game.”