XFL suspends operations, lays off all employees; no plans to return in 2021

The XFL has suspended operations and laid off all its employees.

Chief operating office Jeffery Pollock shared the news on a league conference call Friday morning. Commissioner Oliver Luck issued a statement in March which stated in part the “XFL is committed to playing a full season in 2021 and future years.” But that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore.

The XFL kicked off in February and played five weeks of a planned 10-week schedule. Its eight franchises were based in major United States cities: Dallas Renegades, DC Defenders, Houston Roughnecks, Los Angeles Wildcats, New York Guardians, Seattle Dragons, St. Louis BattleHawks and Tampa Bay Vipers.

Former Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Houston head coach June Jones had his Roughnecks team atop the XFL standings with a 5-0 record when the 2020 season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Jones and his Roughnecks could claim the XFL championship, but it doesn’t seem as if there will be a chance to defend it.

ESPN reports league currently has no plans to return in 2021. According to a prominent former XFL staffer who was on the call, Pollack stopped short of saying the league was going out of business. But the strong implication was clear. “It’s done,” the staffer said. “It’s not coming back.”

The original XFL lasted one full season in 2001. It appears the finishing move has knocked Vince McMahon and his professional football league dream down for the three count, again.