XFL suspends operations, lays off employees amid coronavirus epidemic

SEATTLE -- The XFL’s future appeared to be in doubt as COO Jeffrey Pollock said in a Friday conference call that all employees had been laid off, according to multiple reports.

Pollock said the league was suspending operations, ESPN and NFL Network reported. The XFL has not played a game since March, after the coronavirus shut down sports across the U.S.

According to XFL News Hub, the league planned to use a “skeleton crew” of executives to continue work at league headquarters in Connecticut. There would not be any more XFL football for the rest of the year.

The Seattle Dragons, one of eight teams in the XFL, played only five games before the league ended the season in mid-March over coronavirus concerns. They were 1-4 and tied for the worst record in the league.

Billed as a rawer version of football, the original iteration of XFL in 2001 had fewer rules regulating safety, and encouraged hard hits. Though it came into being with a lot of fanfare, the XFL quickly folded after poor television ratings.

The rebirth was welcomed with much fanfare. More than 29,000 people attended the Dragons' home opener at CenturyLink Field.

XFL players are able to sign with NFL or Canadian Football League teams.

The XFL season ends with the DC Defenders leading the XFL East over the St. Louis BattleHawksNew York Guardians and Tampa Bay Vipers. The Roughnecks remain undefeated and leading the XFL West over the Dallas RenegadesLos Angeles Wildcats and the Seattle Dragons.