XFL suspends operations, lays off employees

FILE - In this Feb. 8, 2020, file photo, Houston Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker (11) looks to pass as he scrambles during an XFL football game in Houston. A person familiar with the situation says the Panthers have agreed to terms on contracts with former XFL quarterback P.J. Walker of the Houston Roughnecks and former Raiders linebacker Tahir Whitehead. The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday, March 23, 2020, because the moves have not been announced by the team since the players have yet to pass physicals. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson, File)
By  | 

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.