(CelebrityAccess) — After their first season was aborted by COVID-19 after just 5 games, spring football league The XFL has reportedly suspended operations and released most of its employees with no plans to resume in 2021.
According to ESPN, sources at the XFL said that CEO Jeffrey Pollack broke the news on a 10-minute conference call on Friday morning, informing employees of the shutdown.
Commissioner Oliver Luck, who joined the league at its formation in 2018, was not on the call and it is unclear if he remains a part of the league, ESPN reported.
One senior XFL employee told ESPN that while Pollack did not explicitly state the league was ceasing business operations permanently, that was a clear implication during the call.
“It’s done,” the staffer told ESPN. “It’s not coming back.”
The XFL did not respond to a request for comment on the ESPN story.
The XFL kicked its inaugural season off on February 8th, and its teams played 5 weeks of games before announcing on March 8th that the season would come to a halt amid the widening COVID-19 crisis. At the time, they thanked their fans and indicated that they planned to return in 2021.
The league included franchises at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas; TDECU Stadium in Houston, Texas, Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California; CenturyLink Field in Washington; Audi Field in Washington D.C.; MetLife Stadium in New Jersey; The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis; and Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
The XFL was owned by WWE owner Jim McMahan and represents the second time he’s tried to launch a rival league for the NFL. The XFL originally launched in 2001 and took a page from McMahon’s experience in the world of professional wrestling but folded after just one year.