XFL lays off all employees, suspends operations

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When the XFL announced that its 2020 season had ended, the league said it would return in 2021. That no longer appears to be the case.

Several XFL employees confirmed on social media today that the whole staff of the XFL was informed that they’re being laid off during a conference call.

Although there has not been an official announcement about the 2021 season, it certainly looks like there will be no more XFL at all.

This was Vince McMahon’s second attempt to start the XFL, and he insisted heading into the 2020 season that he had learned from his mistakes in 2001 and was ready to fund the league for multiple seasons. But after a strong first weekend, the XFL saw its television audiences steadily decline, and by the time the COVID-19 pandemic forced the 2020 season to end, there were questions about whether the league could return for 2021 even if the public health situation made it feasible.

Now that there are growing concerns that we could still be a long way off from seeing professional sports again, the XFL has decided to cut its losses and close up shop.

56 responses to “XFL lays off all employees, suspends operations

  1. But the PFT comment section said the league would be a huge success?

    As many of us have said all along, it’s never had a chance.

  2. Had nothing to with anything other than COVID-19 Just unfortunate timing. Hopefully the NFL has a bite taken out of its rear end.

  3. Truly unbelievable that McMahon did this twice with the exact same results. And even crazier is he got to see all the AAF’s problems yet somehow still believed he could make a league be profitable from Day 1.

  4. What a shame. Really enjoyed having football around nearly all year long. Good product for what it was.

  5. When will these leagues learn that the sweet spot to build a new league is to recruit high school prospects and college players who would be happy to play for $60,000 instead of for free. All while being coached by former NFL coaches.

  6. A league that would thrive is a developmental league. Each team can put players on their AAA club. They’d be treated as practice squad players. The inactives for the week before and the practice squad could play in the same stadium on Monday afternoon (after school so the kids can come). You can play in this game if you did not participate in an offensive or defensive snap. So special teamers get a chance to play their real positions. Increase the players to 90. Simple. Same coaches. Same playbook. It means that there are more players for a coach to draw from less street free agents. It will let your backup QB play.

  7. Why they didn’t make it a summer league, between the NBA and the start of the NFL when everyone’s excited for football, I’ll never know.

  8. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

    – Albert Einstein

    Obviously, Vincent Kennedy McMahon is no Albert Einstein

  9. That’s too bad. I enjoyed the games. They were fun to watch, except for those Tampa uniforms, competitive and the fans were enthusiastic. I hope the XFL comes back next year. There’s definitely a need for it. Some overlooked or unknown players were able to get signed by the NFL and I had an excuse to eat wings, drink beer and yell at the TV.

  10. Aw, that’s a real shame. I enjoyed watching the games on You Tube. Might have limped on for another season, but the COVID-19 has killed the XFL completely.

  11. One and done. I was saying that back when AAF folded. Everyone was commenting on how these leagues would “hurt’ the NFL.. Instead just another league to add to the long list of failed ones. One thing is for sure, we seen the end of startup football leagues…

  12. footballfan72 says:
    April 10, 2020 at 12:46 pm
    Had nothing to with anything other than COVID-19 Just unfortunate timing. Hopefully the NFL has a bite taken out of its rear end.
    ————————————————————
    Ratings were poor. Attendance for the most part abysmal and level of play was mediocre at best. Spring leagues will not work. period. This league wasn’t coming back next year, virus or no virus. The good thing is, we won;t see another startup football league again.

  13. Sad news. I hope that all of the employees can get unemployment compensation to help them pay their bills. Not only is the country on pace to hit a 25% unemployment rate but lots of people that still have a job are having their hours cut back (including me). This is going to get much worse and the recovery time will take a lot longer than people think

  14. Eery company has multiple sides: management, sales, marketing, and operations. If you are suspending operations to save cash, I can understand players, coaches, trainers, and video production people being furloughed temporarily.

    Layoffs are permanent separation. If they fold the sales and marketing side that means they don’t intend to sell any product in the future.

  15. A lot of failing businesses will use COVID-19 as an excuse for going under, but the reality is they weren’t coming back virus or no virus.

  16. It was too big for its own good. I wish they had teams in closer regions instead of spreading across the country and that could’ve cut down on cost of traveling. Just have 8 teams in close proximity, like 4 teams in one state and 4 teams in another state. Keep it compact and manageable.

    Alas, looks like the only football alternative to NFL is college. I was really hoping for a minor league for the undrafted and NFL castaways so they can be game shape and earning another opportunity for the big league.

  17. How many taxpayer-funded bailout dollars will Vince get for his… bravery in launching this endeavor… again… with the same result?

  18. Makes perfect sense- staff can get unemployment plus the 600 wk coronavirus fed relief. Not taxable. So they can be in good shape for 4 months – give the XFL a chance to reset and decide what to do next.

  19. Notice is hereby given that a class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of those who purchased or otherwise acquired World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (“WWE”) (NYSE: WWE) common stock between February 7, 2019 and February 5, 2020, inclusive (the “Class Period”).

  20. But. But. What about all the folks that said McMahon prints money and can sustain the league for three years?????

    One and done. One and done.

  21. Attendance was not poor. I want to 2 games in Dallas. It was packed, everytime I walked by the merch line was long. Games in St. Louis and Seattle also full. If you don’t know don’t say anything. This was killed by the pandemic.

  22. Who could have saw this coming? Well anyone with half a brain for starters. Football isn’t a sport like baseball where you develop talent for 3 or 4 years and can have a career. A football career is 3 or 4 years. Also you can’t build a national league on just hardcore fans and that is all you will get on a 2nd football league. College football is losing its ratings and without a student body most programs would go under. People love the NFL, not just any football.

  23. Follow the money. McMahon knew all along that this would fail. He figured out a way to make money somehow.

  24. Two more leagues have come and gone while the usual suspects mock the CFL, with 107 Grey Cups in it’s history. Not criticizing either the AAF or XFL as I watched them both. Just pointing out how the CFL survives decade after decade.

  25. This nation will not support spring football. It never has, and it never will. McMahon was nuts to think that he could pull this off. Starting his minor-league football operation right after the NFL’s Super Bowl was especially dumb, because it amply demonstrated the talent drop-off within the XFL. You can’t draw big ratings and full stadiums with minor-league talent. No one–NO ONE–can do pro football like the NFL. That league is a juggernaut. It’s silly for anyone else to even try. How many leagues have tried to offer competition for the NFL over the last several decades? There have been many. The landscape is littered with them, and they never work. Let’s hope McMahon has learned his lesson.

  26. If the NFL had to close up shop for awhile its owners would just sit back and spend some of its 10’s of billions stock piled. The XFL does not have that luxury, with primarily one guy on the hook for all of those expenses. I have no idea if the XFL would have made it, but it sure as hell didn’t get a fair shot thanks to COVID.

  27. fishfan77 says:
    April 10, 2020 at 1:09 pm
    One and done. I was saying that back when AAF folded.

    Man this quarantine is really getting to us. We are reduced to screaming at the cloud that we knew the XFL wouldn’t last and nobody listened.

  28. Calm down. Many businesses are doing this because of COVID-19. Doesn’t mean they are closing up shop. It’s the off-season anyway .

  29. I watched a couple of plays from a coupe of games. Honestly, I just wasn’t that into it.

    By the time February rolls around, I kind of need a break from football. There are other sports to watch, other things to do. Summer just doesn’t seem like football season, either.

    To really enjoy something, you kind of need a break from it for a little while. What’s your favorite food? Pizza? OK. Now eat it 3 or 4 days of the week for 11 months of the year. Would it still be your favorite food? Maybe, maybe not. But I doubt you’d be as enthusiastic about eating it.

  30. I’m suspecting that Vince McMahon knows:

    1. People are going to be slow wanting to go to events again even in 2021.

    2. The NFL AND/OR College Football very possibly could wind up delaying football until at least January with one or both going on when the XFL would be next spring.

    There to me is a good chance we won’t see the XFL, if at all, until 2023 because of the possibility the NFL/College Football are playing well into next spring to get in the 2020 seasons even if they are delayed by four months and then the Winter Olympics taking place when the XFL would normally start in 2022. If I’m McMahon, I’m focusing on a reboot in 2023 once those obstacles are cleared and by then people are more likely to be out and about much closer to what it was before the virus.

  31. For all of you silly posters who were naive enough to argue the merits of the XFL’s long-term viability with me consider yourselves duly schooled. No, this was not solely foiled by the bad timing of a global pandemic, so stop salving your failures here with that too-convenient notion.

  32. The good thing is, we won;t see another startup football league again.
    ——
    Why is that a good thing? Who says that?

  33. >>v2787 says:>>

    >>April 10, 2020 at 1:47 pm>>

    >>This nation will not support spring football. It never has, and it never will. McMahon was nuts to think that he could pull this off. Starting his minor-league football operation right after the NFL’s Super Bowl was especially dumb, because it amply demonstrated the talent drop-off within the XFL. You can’t draw big ratings and full stadiums with minor-league talent. No one–NO ONE–can do pro football like the NFL. That league is a juggernaut. It’s silly for anyone else to even try. How many leagues have tried to offer competition for the NFL over the last several decades? There have been many. The landscape is littered with them, and they never work. Let’s hope McMahon has learned his lesson.>>

    This is NOT McMahon’s fault. The landscape completely changed because of something that has except for Horse Racing (the ONLY live sport STILL going on, even without fans in attendance) paralyzed ALL of sports, both college and professional. The only reasons we may even see the Premier League resume next month is that they MUST complete their season OR face BOTH having to pay back $500 Million to their television partners AND face lawsuits at the hands of Clubs in the English League Championship (aka The Football League, the level immediately below the Premier League) that were looking at a promotion to The Premier League for the 2020-’21 season that is worth $250 Million in TV money to each such club (as opposed to $3 Million to each club in The Football League). There are also Champions and Europa League berths from the Premier League at stake even if the champion was all but effectively crowned (Top 4 in the Premier League also play in the UEFA Champions League the following season unless a club in such in the current season wins the Champions League and automatically stays while the 5th finisher also plays in the Europa League the following year). Otherwise, except for Horse Racing, we may not see ANYTHING for quite some time.

    Even if sports do come back, there is a very good chance that the NFL and College Football seasons are delayed, and College Football because of the revenue generated for schools needs the fans there so they are more likely to wait until January to start if it means having fans in some form back in the stadiums. McMahon likely saw this and realized even if by next spring everything was “back to normal,” the ripple effect of this virus are likely to continue well into 2021 and even ’22 with possibly BOTH College Football AND the NFL still going when the XFL would have started their season next year and even if such was going on, it would be without the level of fans in the stands as before, something that may take until 2023 to fully get back to normal. Trying to re-start in 2022 even would be a problem because of continued ripple effects from this year plus the Winter Olympics taking place when the XFL would normally start, making 2023 a more realistic starting point to try again, especially given it may take that long for the ripple effects of this virus to subside.

  34. To those saying the XFL had poor ratings, they had greater ratings than the NHL and NBA combined, head to head.

    To those saying they had poor attendance, the league averaged about 18k, how many fans in attendance does the NBA/NHL average?

    The XFL is NOT the NFL. Just because the XFL didn’t duplicate what the NFL does from a ratings/attendance standpoint, that doesn’t make it a failure.

  35. I don’t think any of these D Leagues can work unless they have NFL Backing similar to what the MLB does with its minor league farm system. I think it could work if the main motivation is more about developing players as opposed to making money, playing the games at college stadiums etc. if the NFL Backed it and promoted it I could see it working. Whoever starts needs to go in it with the understanding you’re not going to make any real money for 4-5 years until the league can form a following, again similar to the regional followings MLB Farm teams have.

  36. Nothing good about less football. I enjoyed the xfl games. Hopefully they try again when things are back to normal

  37. The COVID19 situation didn’t help them. But, one of the biggest difficulties of having a second football league is the lack of quality QBs. Some NFL teams struggle to find good play at QB. So, to think they could find more QBs that could excel was asking a lot. Indoor football had some limited success, but they also greatly changed the rules, which allowed QBs to succeed while not being quite as talented. But, the XFL and AAF did not have those type of rule changes, so they didn’t have much good QB play. And, you will not keep large audiences without good QB play.

  38. It was a failed business model from the beginning. If someone does well in the XFL they move to an NFL teams practice squad. With talent inevitably getting diluted, how do you attract fans? How do you keep fans when the players they’re rooting for are gone?

  39. Yeah, well to all of you XFL haters, lets just wait and see when any professional sport comes back that you’ll actually be able to attend.

    This virus plays no favorites and has no mercy. It kills people, closes businesses and crushes economies.

    Thanks for trying, Vince. And thanks for WrestleMania 36. For what it was it was better than nothing and without it, I had nothing. So to me, that’s something.

  40. I’m not really buying the “Covid killed them” take. McMahan said he was in this for the long term so even a shortened season would have looked basically the same as a slow first season. Their expenses without games would have been minimal: no players to pay, no travel, etc. Going on hiatus until next season is the logical move if they’d liked what they saw with attendance and ratings.

  41. mm556 says:
    April 10, 2020 at 12:43 pm
    But the PFT comment section said the league would be a huge success?
    As many of us have said all along, it’s never had a chance.
    ——————————————————
    Of course, it never had a chance.
    Bush league players.
    Just all around bush league.
    Mcmahon should just stick to “wrestling”.

  42. Who could have saw this coming? I mean a few posters told you this wasn’t making the second season before the virus.

  43. I loved it. Players with heart, smaller egos, playing hard to get to the next level. I hope it comes back strong.

  44. politebat says:
    April 10, 2020 at 1:42 pm
    Attendance was not poor. I want to 2 games in Dallas. It was packed, everytime I walked by the merch line was long. Games in St. Louis and Seattle also full. If you don’t know don’t say anything. This was killed by the pandemic


    Vince?

  45. He recently sold a bunch more WWE stock to generate cash to keep WWE going through the current pandemic. I’m sure this has more to do with needing the cash for WWE than it does with the XFL being a failure. If I have a house and a cabin, I know which one I’m keeping my payments current on.

  46. alonestartexan says:
    April 10, 2020 at 3:03 pm
    To those saying the XFL had poor ratings, they had greater ratings than the NHL and NBA combined, head to head.

    To those saying they had poor attendance, the league averaged about 18k, how many fans in attendance does the NBA/NHL average?
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    I’m not sure you know this, but the NBA and NHL each play an 82 game season, the XFL planned to play 10.

    I should also point out that neither the NBA nor NHL has closed up shop.

  47. Really not sure how. There are people that are against the XFL. Call yourselves what you want… But don’t put “football fan” in your description.

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