Reports broke this evening that the XFL had informed players the league will be suspending operations.
Breaking: I just had a solid source reach out to me and #XFL has suspended their season. More info to come.
— Konnor Fulk (@KonnorFulk) March 12, 2020
Hearing that XFL has informed players it is suspending play.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 12, 2020
UPDATE: the league confirmed it with a statement, noting that players will be paid and the league is committed to a full season in 2021.
— XFL (@xfl2020) March 12, 2020
The XFL had a more understandable (if still irresponsible) reason for hanging on as long as possible: unlike the various other leagues and entities that are suspending or canceling seasons and operations, the XFL very well may not be able to make it through this and come back as a viable league. If it doesn’t, it would join the AAF as startup pro football leagues that couldn’t survive their inaugural season.
Obviously that’s not really a fair comparison; the XFL is struggling because of an act of god, while the AAF never really had a chance thanks to acts of frauds. But Vince McMahon poured a ton of money into getting the league off the ground, and the early returns were if not overwhelmingly positive, at least something like a foundation to keep the experiment going. And maybe it will; a suspension isn’t a cancellation.
But the break would seemingly have to be fairly short for it to not be the second time the XFL goes under.