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ST. LOUIS–The XFL has hit the pause button on plans to re-launch the alternative football league in 2022.

That announcement came Wednesday in statements put out by the league that it was exploring opportunities with the Canadian Football League and would be putting its own 2022 plans on hold.

“It’s clear through our early conversations that we share a passion for football, an expansive sense of possibility, and a deep desire to create more opportunity for players and fans across North America and around the world,” XFL President and CEO Jeffrey Pollack said. “Blending the CFL’s rich heritage with our fresh thinking, and the unique reach and experience of our ownership, could be transformative for the game. We look forward to learning more about what’s possible together with the CFL and where our shared passion takes us.”

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrose says his league looks “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.”

The XFL found a supportive home in St. Louis last season as fans were hungry for a football team rooted in the city, still smarting from the departure of the Rams for Los Angeles.

The BattleHawks were 3-2 in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic forced league operations to shut down and eventually head to bankruptcy court where it was acquired by actor and pro wrestling star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his ex-wife Dany Garcia.

“Jointly we recognize a great opportunity to build exciting innovative football experiences that make the most of each league’s unique strengths,” Garcia said in a statement. I look forward to our continued discussions and we will update the sports community as we have more to share.”