“The COVID-19 pandemic, and the most recent local and state regulations, have left the XFL no choice but to officially cancel the remainder of the 2020 season,” the league said in a statement. “This decision has been made with the health and safety of the entire XFL family as our top priority. While we are disappointed to not complete the 2020 season, our hearts are full of appreciation for your overwhelming support.”
The Vince McMahon-backed league started strong in early February, but then coped with waning interest. The league was revived this year after lasting just one season in 2001, aiming to tap into the growing appetite for sports programming and legal gambling. It had strong backing from several TV networks, bringing hope that the league could avoid its past mistakes and thrive in a world increasingly hungry for sports.
The eight-team league suspended play on March 8, joining the NBA, NHL and MLB in postponing games. The XFL originally envisioned its championship weekend for April 26 on ESPN and had Fox Thursday night games scheduled for the last two weeks of the schedule. ABC planned to televise 14 games.
The local L.A. Wildcats finished 2-3 in the XFL West, while New York’s Guardians were 3-2. The Houston Roughnecks had the league’s best record at 5-0 when the plug was pulled.