As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the XFL’s alternative football league has applied for bankruptcy protection in Chapter 11 this week, just one month after announcing it had postponed the remainder of its inaugural season.
A statement from Alpha Entertainment, the league’s parent company read: “The XFL quickly captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of people who love football. Unfortunately, as a new enterprise, we were not insulated from the harsh economic impacts and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
“Accordingly, we have filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. 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 filing by Alpha Entertainment listed the XFL with assets and liabilities ranging from $10 million to $50 million, with the St Louis Sports Commission classified as the largest creditor at $1.6 million. Seven of the eight coaches from the league also figured high up on the creditors’ register.
The eight-team league formalised a number of high-profile collaborations during its brief duration with the likes of DraftKings, PointsBet, Monkey Knife Battle, Genius Sports, ABC, ESPN, FOX Bet, Sportradar and The Action Network.
For the XFL, which opened the season with strong scores, initial signs had been positive but they continued to decline until the coronavirus outbreak finally halted the proceedings after five weeks of play.
Alpha Entertainment said in its court filing that the decision to forfeit the remainder of the season, which was due to end on April 26, cost the league tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue. It’s workers had been paid up to April 12 and arrangements are being made to refund all sales of advance fares.