According to reports, the XFL elected to shutdown operations on Friday. They are now the second football league in as many years to suspend operations before completing its final season, following in the footsteps of the AAF.
“Given the uncertainty of the current environment, the XFL has suspended operations and is evaluating next steps,” said the WWE in a statement.
The news comes in just one month after the league announced that they had canceled their season. As a result of the suspension of operations due to the coronavirus pandemic, all employees within the XFL have been terminated. Per reports, XFL CEO Jeffrey Pollack informed staff members of the news Friday. In addition, the league will pay employees through Sunday. However, there has been no word of a possible return for the 2021 season.
On average during the young season, the XFL garnered 15,000 fans per home game. The league was seemingly heading in the right direction and making great strides to stand as it’s own. Backed by billionaire owner Vince McMahon takes a major hit himself as he had big plans for his relaunched XFL. He was reported to spend nearly $500 million through the first three seasons on employee salaries at all levels and to build the brand.
This is disheartening news for many of those who looked at the the XFL as a possible springboard to the National Football League after the folding of the AAF. Yet, there have been some players that have been signed to NFL rosters.
ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reported that Los Angeles Wildcats offensive tackle Storm Norton has signed a two-year deal with the Chargers. He becomes the second player signed by the franchise, joining fellow XFL player Donald Parham.
Other players include quarterback P.J. Walker, who inked a deal with the Carolina Panthers. Former XFL quarterback for the St. Louis Battlehawks, Jordan Ta’amu will be heading to Kansas City. In addition, defensive backs Deatrick Nichols and Dravon Askew-Henry have been given opportunities in the NFL with Nichols going to New Orleans and Henry preparing to play in New York with the Giants.
That’s the good news. However, the bad news is that the XFL is the first league to fold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In a league that had the finances to keep themselves afloat and looked to gain popularity, this may be the end of the XFL.