Thursday, June 20, 2024

XFL 2020 suspends operations

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher 

The XFL is one-and-done once again. The league told ESPN that they were suspending operations.

The league has no plans to return in 2021. This would mean that the reboot lasted just five games.

LA Wildcats wide receiver Spruce Nelson talks with DC Defenders safety Matt Elam during a time out in the XFL game
Spruce Nelson talks with Matt Elam during a time out in the XFL game (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Vince McMahon — who owns the league — gave it two years to prepare after announcing in January 2018 that the league would return in February 2020. The previous league in 2001 lasted one season. 

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Nearly all of the XFL employees have been laid off. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the league was forced to shut down after Week 5 on March 12th..

Initially, the league said that they would host the Week 6 games with no fans. However, they reversed course on that decision and said that there would be no more future games.

At the time in March, the league put out a statement saying that the league would be playing in 2021 and beyond. Now, they have changed their mind and the league is done.

The league saw a drop in its viewing attendance on TV each week after the first weekend back. According to ESPN, the XFL averaged 2.08 million per game on ESPN/ABC from Week 1-4.

However, on FOX and FS1, they averaged 2.019 million per game during the same time span. 

New York and Los Angeles struggled with attracting attention with fans through the gates in big cities. However, St. Louis loved having football back and showed up and showed out to support the team. 

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In home attendance, St. Louis averaged more than 28,000 fans per home contest. Seattle averaged more than 26,000 per game. 

However, New York had a little more than 14 thousand per game. Los Angeles did worse than New York, as they averaged a little more than 13,000 per game. 

This is the second straight year that a spring league has folded around April. Last year, The Alliance of American Football ceased operations after losing money left and right.

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Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report. He has been in the Journalism field since August 2002. Since that time, Mr. Caruso has covered many marquee events. This includes 13 Heisman Trophy ceremonies, 2 Little World Series events, and one Army-Navy College Football game.
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