XFL Suspends 2020 Inaugural Season Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 08: A view of the XFL logo on the sidelines before the XFL game between the DC Defenders and the St. Louis Battlehawks at Audi Field on March 8, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The XFL announced Thursday it will not proceed with the remainder of its first regular season since the league was rebooted because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

"Currently, the XFL will not be playing its regular-season games," the league said in a statement. "However, all players will be paid their base pay and benefits for 2020 regular season. All XFL ticket holders will be issued refunds or credit towards future games.

"The XFL is committed to playing a full season in 2021 and future years."

The move comes as numerous leagues across the country have put play on hold in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. The NBA and NHL suspended games indefinitely, while MLB pushed back the start of its regular season by at least two weeks.

The NCAA also canceled its winter and spring championships, which include the men's and women's basketball tournaments.

In addition to the steps taken by sports officials, state and local governments have issued moratoriums on large gatherings of people. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, for example, banned any event with more than 250 people in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties, a move that impacted the Seattle Dragons.

Per CNN, there are at least 124,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, and more than 4,600 have died.

A suspension or cancellation of the XFL season felt inevitable given how everything has unfolded so far.

The league has completed five weeks in its return campaign and was originally set to hold its championship April 26.

The NFL's regular season doesn't kick off until September, and training camps will open in July. As a result, the XFL might be able to push back its season and wrap things up before experiencing any significant overlap with the NFL.

However, that could be less than ideal for any players who hoped to parlay their XFL success into a possible shot in the NFL. The longer the XFL drags on, the more time NFL teams will have to fill their roster spots.