The tenure of the second iteration of Vince McMahon’s XFL will apparently be even shorter than that of the original 2001 version, as it has suspended day-to-day operations and laid off team and league employees, effective immediately.
“While a handful of executives remain employed, the league currently has no plans to return in 2021,” broadcast partner ESPN reported.
The news was delivered by a 10-minute phone call with employees initiated by XFL President and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Pollack, according to reports.
While the Stamford-based league has yet to make an official comment, it appears to be another business victimized by the COVID-19 crisis. It suspended play in mid-March, following similar decisions by the NBA and NHL. Since that time, Major League Baseball, the NCAA, and the 2020 Summer Olympics, among other sporting entities, have postponed or canceled their activities.
McMahon’s WWE has continued to hold events, albeit without live audiences.
The original version of the XFL, whose games were often conducted in a circus-like atmosphere, lasted for just one season. Though McMahon was determined to make the new edition – which kicked off on Feb. 8 and played just five of a scheduled 10-week regular season games – a more serious and professional endeavor, the pandemic apparently proved to be too much.
A notice on the XFL’s website still insists: “The XFL is committed to playing a full season in 2021 and future years.”