COVID-19 has had such a significant impact on every single sports activity of the world that even Vincent Kennedy McMahon, the larger-than-life personality, couldn’t do anything to save XFL from its effects. Following other major leagues, XFL, too, canceled the remaining part of its 2020 season recently.
Unlike as in the case of other sports, for instance, NCAA college basketball which canceled all its events on March 12 itself. The XFL took its own time and made the announcement several days later. The worry was that if the XFL abruptly ended its season, would it be able to return next year?
League officials have confirmed that they’re committed to a full season next year. Although there aren’t any guarantees if there will be a next year, after all, the league wouldn’t have gone ahead and made such a statement if the officials weren’t confident of their long-term partnership with the teams, broadcasters and beyond. That also includes betting firms.
If people might recall, bookmakers had boasted about huge betting numbers during week one of the league. Almost 20 times more compared to the opening weekend of AAF in 2019. And definitely more bettors compared to ones that go after NFL Draft Odds.
The attendance was good as well. AAF games got around 15,000 fans to every home game. XFL home teams easily averaging around 18,600 fans during the first four weeks. It’s worth noting that AAF went on for three additional weeks before calling it curtains. It won’t be wrong to say the XFL was comfortably outdoing its counterpart.
XFL is far better in terms of quality
Many football fans claim that XFL has less drama too, and the in-game access distinguishes it from many other sports. The viewers can stay entertained, even when there are stretches of not too interesting football action. The only big controversy happened during the Seattle and Houston’s Week 5 game. It was basically an officiating issue, which was resolved transparently and efficiently.
On the other hand, AAF had been dealing with control and money related issues almost every week. That’s one of the biggest reasons why the XFL has an excellent chance of making a solid return in 2021.
The reason why AAF folded is that Tom Dundon, the controlling owner didn’t have the same vision as Charlie Ebersol, the CEO. However, the premature end of the XFL season came about due to an act no one could have for seen. No one, including PGA, NBA or even the popular late-night talk shows were spared from the pandemic.
The XFL made the correct decision by canceling the current season, paying out its players, refunding fans’ money and giving XFL players the freedom to join the NFL through free agency. Vince McMahon is widely known for taking excellent care of his people. Many people associated with the XFL still have jobs and would be paid their salaries.
Even when the league didn’t do well the first time, McMahon paid out all the coaches for the complete duration of their contracts. The guy has such major goodwill in all domains that there’s no way XFL won’t come back stronger next year!
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April 3, 2020 at 7:32 pm
I am optimistic that the XFL will play a full season, post-season and championship game, but with this virus, who knows. If it’s worse than the Spanish Flu of 100 years ago, not only do I think that the XFL won’t return in 2021, they won’t return at all. I do think it will subside in time for the NFL season to kick off, but we don’t know and it could come back even more dangerous in the fall. This virus is unpredictable to think that 100% the XFL will return in 2021. Right now, I say 70%.