Alpha Entertainment, the corporate that owns the XFL, filed for chapter on Monday, three days after the league suspended operations and laid off its employees.
“The XFL quickly captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of people who love football,” the league mentioned in an announcement. “Unfortunately, as a new enterprise, we were not insulated from the harsh economic impacts and uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 crisis.”
The XFL returned in February, 19 years after its first and solely different season. The revived model, initially slated for 10 video games, lasted solely 5 weeks earlier than the season was shut down final month due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league had additionally scheduled a four-team postseason, with a championship sport in Houston for late April, that have been additionally canceled.
At the time of the shutdown final month, league leaders vowed that it could return in 2021. Now that appears unlikely.
In its Chapter 11 chapter submitting, Alpha Entertainment mentioned that it had liabilities of between $10 million and $50 million, and that it had 1,000 to five,000 collectors. It additionally listed property of between $10 million and $50 million.
“This is a heartbreaking time for many, including our passionate fans, players and staff, and we are thankful to them, our television partners, and the many Americans who rallied to the XFL for the love of football,” the XFL mentioned in its assertion Monday.
Oliver Luck, who served because the league’s commissioner and is the daddy of the previous Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, declined to remark by means of a spokesperson.
The new model of the XFL featured eight groups that have been strategically positioned in cities that had sturdy soccer fan bases. The groups performed in some N.F.L. stadiums in locations like Seattle, Tampa Bay, Fla., and East Rutherford, N.J.
The XFL created guidelines that differed from the N.F.L.’s, together with a coverage to make kickoffs safer by permitting solely the kicker and returner to maneuver earlier than the ball was caught. Every sport was set to be televised, and gamers did interviews throughout video games.
The league’s video games drew a mean of three.1 million viewers on opening weekend. Ratings declined every week, and video games averaged just one.four million viewers by Week 4.
Both versions of the XFL were owned by Vince McMahon, the chairman and chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment. In order to reboot the XFL, McMahon sold shares of W.W.E. stock with an estimated value well over $100 million, according to several news reports.
The original XFL, a joint venture between McMahon’s wrestling company and NBC, relied on gimmicks and a more violent brand of the game — fair catches were banned — to attract fans. It was a huge success in its opening weekend, with 15.7 million viewers tuning in for the first game. Ratings dropped by 52 percent from the first week of the season to the second, and the numbers continued to decline as the season went on. When the league collapsed, NBC and McMahon’s company lost tens of millions of dollars.
The XFL is just the latest professional football start-up that has failed, joining the Alliance of American Football, which shut down in 2019 after playing a portion of one season.