Last week, the XFL informed league employees it was shutting down, shortly after cancelling its first season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Today (April 13), it filed for bankruptcy. Sources told TMZ the shutdown cost Alpha Entertainment, the limited liability corporation Vince McMahon set up to run the XFL, “tens of millions in revenue”. The league also sent TMZ an official statement on the decision:
“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.”
Fightful tracked down the documents filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware. Those confirm that, despite McMahon’s assertion the XFL and WWE were separate entities, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. did own 23.5% of the class B interests in Alpha Entertainment. Vince and WWE were the only equity interest holders listed in the filing (he owned 100% of class A interests and the other 76.5% of class B interests).
Austin Karp of Sports Business Daily says the league is for sale as part of the bankruptcy process.