BOSTON (CBS) — Had the coronavirus pandemic not stopped the sports world in its tracks, it’s possible that the XFL could have succeeded this time around. Alas, it appears as though the spring football league has played its final down.
According to XFL reporter Konnor Fulk, the XFL has suspended operations and terminated all team and league employees.
The #XFL has suspended its Day to Day operations effective immediately and all team and league employees have been terminated
The statement was read to employees through a conference call by League President Jeffrey Pollack. No questions were taken. Call lasted all of 10 minutes
— Konnor Fulk (@KonnorFulk_XFL) April 10, 2020
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero noted that the words “shut down” were used on the call.
The XFL just held a conference call in which all employees were told the league is suspending operations. Said one: "The word they used was 'shut down'."
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 10, 2020
While no sports are currently holding games, the reports indicate that the XFL will not be returning next year.
The league currently has no plans to return in 2021. pic.twitter.com/NxZbHAKRsM
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 10, 2020
The league had been somewhat promising this year, 19 years after its poorly planned debut season in 2001. With more careful planning, some creative design of rules, and more realistic expectations, the league looked to be a viable spring league that could serve as an opportunity for some players to make the NFL.
The league tried to hold out, even as the NBA and NHL were shutting down as COVID-19 spread, but ultimately had to suspend the season in early March.
The XFL made it through five weeks of its schedule. The Houston Roughnecks went 5-0, the lone undefeated team in the league. (No other team even had one loss.) This week was supposed to mark the final regular-season week, with playoffs beginning next weekend and a championship game scheduled for April 26. Those games won’t happen, and it appears as though no XFL games will be played for the foreseeable future.