After the Coronavirus forced the XFL to cancel the remainder of their season after the five-game midway mark, heavy financial burdens force Vince McMahon and Alpha Entertainment to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy and offer the league up for sale.
Just when betting on the XFL was hitting a peak, the league disappeared alongside almost every other athletic betting option on the planet. The league offered a solid avenue for football betting during the time between the Super Bowl and March Madness and seemed poised to establish itself as an annual pastime.
Although ratings were slightly under expectations, attendance and season ticket sales were a surprise hit, with many markets threatening to open up the upper bowl for additional seating. Top sportsbooks offered odds on each week’s games, and XFL broadcasts featured betting lines inside of the scoreboard graphics.
After shutting play down five games into the season, the XFL is now faced with debts in the range of $10 to $50 million, according to ESPN. Court documents reveal that the St. Louis Sports Commission is owed $1.6 million.
The bankruptcy filing followed the termination of almost all XFL employees except for a few executive positions. It is not clear at this time if league commissioner Oliver Luck has been retained. Vince McMahon has not provided comment on the situation, but a statement has been issued by the league.
“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 U.S. 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.”
XFL League Statement
The league plans to refund all ticket sales and make good on employee pay through April 4. Still, with millions in unspent money currently in league coffers, the bankruptcy filing is leaving many unpleased with McMahon.
The XFL has been offered up for sale so there is a glimmer of hope that the league could resurface and continue play at some point, but don’t bet on it.
The league has yet to declare that they will not return for a 2021 season but considering all that has occurred in the last 48 hours, we’ve likely seen our last XFL snap. If and when the league does decide to return, a legion of dedicated fans, as well as US online sportsbooks, will be waiting to welcome it back.