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XFL suspends operations, lays off employees

Tampa Bay Vipers wide receiver Dan Williams (81) runs with the ball while Houston Roughnecks cornerback Jeremiah Johnson (41) tries to tackle during an XFL game at Raymond James Stadium, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in Tampa, Fla.. The Roughnecks beat the Vipers 34-27. (Kim Hukari/Image of Sport via AP)

By The Associated Press

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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Updated April 10, 2020

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