XFL suspends operations, won’t return in 2021

The league canceled the last five weeks of its season last month because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Houston Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker (11) looks to pass during a game in February. The XFL announced it has suspended operations and will not be back in 2021.

Houston Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker (11) looks to pass during a game in February. The XFL announced it has suspended operations and will not be back in 2021.

Matt Patterson/AP

The XFL has suspended operations and laid off its employees.

XFL workers were told of the layoffs during an in-house conference call Friday.

After canceling the remainder of its season last month because of the coronavirus pandemic, but promising to be back in 2021, the upstart league backed by WWE has left its future in doubt.

League executives said they expected to be back next year soon after canceling their games. The XFL has eight franchises and played five games out of a planned 10-game schedule. It drew decent TV ratings early on and had deals with ESPN and Fox.

But spring football is a difficult challenge, as the Alliance of American Football found out in 2019, not lasting a full season.

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