The suspension of the 2020 XFL season earlier this year left many people wondering whether professional American Football could ever succeed beyond the NFL.
The XFL’s subsequent decision to file for bankruptcy appeared to be another nail in the coffin, but there may be some light at the end of the tunnel.
For fans who love wagering on the sport, the demise of the XFL was a bitter blow, although they can still bet on the NFL while the situation is resolved.
Read on as we look at the background to the story and assess whether the XFL will be able to rise from the ashes.
Second time unlucky for WWE boss
WWE boss Vince McMahon has now had two attempts at setting up a professional football league and failed on both occasions.
He could probably count himself extremely unfortunate on this occasion, with a global pandemic causing major financial headaches for the XFL.
However, whereas the 2001 version of the XFL was largely derided, innovations in the new incarnation had been well received.
Whether they will be enough to tempt someone into resurrecting the NFL is a tough question to answer, but it appears it is not beyond the realms of possibility.
XFL takeover in the pipeline
Hopes that the XFL could return in the future were recently boosted when it was confirmed that several different parties are interested in taking it over.
According to Dan Primack at Axios, non-binding bids for the XFL were due by June 22, while the deadline for formal proposals was set as July 30.
Suitors from both professional sports and the media & entertainment sectors have expressed an interest in taking over the entire league, as opposed to syphoning off selected assets.
It is understood that uncertainties surrounding other established leagues has helped to spark heightened interest in the XFL.
The future of the XFL
Prior to the suspension of play the XFL had been averaging nearly two million television viewers per game and hopes were high that the figures would rise towards the business end of the season.
The figures highlighted that there is an appetite for spring football and bode well for anyone considering taking over the XFL.
Finding a way to align itself more closely to the NFL in terms of providing a development pathway may well be the key to success if the XFL does return.
That important factor would make the product more attractive to major broadcasters and help the XFL become a viable concern.
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July 16, 2020 at 9:56 am
There are a lot of us who loved the XFL and are disgusted with the NFL. We need somewhere to go. I will NEVER watch an NFL game again. Haven’t watched a game in 6 seasons in response to their anti-American commie bullshit. Depending on who buys this league, we will be watching. If the NFL, Comcast, Disney etc buy it, I will not be watching. Must be a pro-America non-commie parent company.
August 26, 2020 at 6:16 am
I gave the 2nd round of XFL football an open mind. I have to say that I was not disappointed. My only hope then, as it is now, is for the league to not accept farm league status. Fans of football have been pining for change for quite some time. I really liked the speed of the game. I liked seeing old college favorites back in uniform. I would only like to see the league revisit team locations at some point. There are small market cities which have been proven to consistently attend and even sell out minor league baseball and hockey games. If the XFL can do some research into small market growth, I think they will have a consistent base, with tax breaks, and operating costs much more friendly than big cities that already have big market teams.