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XFL ceases operations, does not intend to return for 2021

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Another spring football league gone, though under much different circumstances

Dallas Renegades v Seattle Dragons Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Tomorrow was supposed to be the start of the final weekend of the regular season for the newly-returned XFL. The Conference Championship games were to have taken place next weekend, and the XFL Championship Game was scheduled for the day after the 2020 NFL Draft in Houston. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the XFL canceled its season several weeks ago, and it appears that we’ve once again seen the last of the league.

Multiple sources are reporting that the XFL has ceased operations and laid off all its employees. The word is that they do not expect to return for the 2021 season.

After what could charitably be described as a disastrous first run way back in 2001, the second incarnation of the XFL appeared to really be gaining some traction. There were some innovative rules that people seemed to like, attendance had remained pretty solid, and the television ratings did not experience a significant drop during the five weeks the league was running.

This is the second consecutive year that has seen a spring football league shutter its doors before the end of its first season. Obviously, the circumstances are significantly different for the closure of the XFL than they were for the AAF last year. The AAF closed up shop because they didn’t have their financial house in order, while the XFL is finished due pretty much entirely to circumstances beyond their control.

Will the XFL eventually make another run? Who knows. . .you can never be too sure of Vince McMahon’s thought process when it comes to these sorts of things. But we won’t be seeing it again in 2021 when things have, hopefully, returned to a more normal rhythm.

What do you think about the (second) closing of the XFL, folks?