Apr 10, 2020 - Sports

ESPN: XFL suspends operations after coronavirus shutdown

XFL players line up.
The XFL's Tampa Bay Vipers line up against the L.A. Wildcats. Photo: John McCoy/Getty Images

The XFL suspended its operations and laid off almost all of its staff Friday with no plans to return in 2021 after its inaugural season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, ESPN reports.

Why it matters: The football upstart, which was the second attempt to upend the sport's market by WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, would be the first major sports league to be felled by the coronavirus-driven economic shutdown, despite saying last month that it remained "committed to playing a full season in 2021 and future years."

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