Vince McMahon’s XFL suspended operations on Friday and laid off all employees as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Along with the firing of its staff members, the league created by the wrestling genius has no plans of returning for a second season in 2021.
ESPN is reporting that only a handful of executives remain employed by the XFL, which possibly leaves room for a return in the future. The league canceled its second season after teams played only five games as almost the entire country closed down due to COVID-19.
On Friday afternoon, XFL CEO Jeffrey Pollack contacted all employees on a 10-minute conference call to advise them of the league’s direction. There is some confusion as to whether Commissioner Oliver Luck is still with the company as he did not speak during the call.
The XFL had just one season during its initial run back in 2001, and it surprised a lot of people when McMahon revealed plans to bring it back. It was set to compete with the new Alliance of American Football, which had one season in 2019 and folded after filing for bankruptcy.
The XFL was bringing in more significant numbers as far as attendance and TV ratings, but they were lowering as the season went on.
— XFL (@xfl2020) April 8, 2020
Pollack never went as far as to say that the XFL is no longer in business, but one source said, “It’s done. It’s not coming back.”
Upon the postponement of the season last month, the league stated that it would not be back to finish in 2020. The XFL let fans know that they could get a refund on their 2021 ticket investment due to not knowing when things would get started again.
In March, the NBA was the first professional league to suspend its season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The NHL, MLB, MLS, NCAA, and other leagues around the world began following their lead, but they are all expected to return later in 2020 or next year.
The original version of the XFL folded as fans thought it was too much of a combination of football and professional wrestling. McMahon had different rules for the 2020 league; it was going to have a strict focus on football and not be associated with WWE at all.
On Friday, Pollack never came right out and said that the XFL would not return at all, but 2021 is already out of the picture. The league was starting to pick up momentum right before its season was suspended, and there has been no further comment regarding the distant future.