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The XFL Suspends Their Season In the Midst of Coronavirus Pandemic

The XFL has released a statement announcing they will suspend playing the rest of the 2020 season as a result of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic sweeping the globe. The move comes after the NBA, NHL, MLB, NCAA basketball, and MLS all suspended their seasons.

“Currently, the XFL will not be playing its regular-season games. However, all players will be paid their base pay and benefits for the 2020 regular season. All XFL ticket holders will be issued refunds or credit toward future games. The XFL is committed to playing a full season in 2021 and future years.”

While it was starting to look like the XFL will continue their season this weekend when every major sports league has suspended play, on Thursday night the XFL has officially called off playing the rest of their regular-season games. The XFL has made the safe and correct decision to call off the rest of their regular-season games in the face of increasing danger.

According to Lewis Kamb of the Seattle Times, a concession vendor who worked the February 22 matchup between the Seattle Dragons and the Dallas Renegades has tested positive for coronavirus. Seattle’s CenturyLink Field had an announced attendance of 22,060, putting all of those people at risk of catching the virus.

The XFL originally announced that the Seattle Dragons will host their matchup on Sunday, March 15 without fans in the stadium. However, that would have been very irresponsible given that all of their other matchups were expected to be played with fans at the stadium.

While no XFL players, coaches, or team personnel have tested positive for coronavirus, aggressive preventative measures needed to be put in place in order to keep it that way. Suspending the season is the only appropriate response in order to protect fans, players, and team personnel.

In the wake of two NBA players testing positive for the coronavirus, we see how professional athletes who are constantly traveling all over the country can be susceptible to catching the virus. By suspending the season, the XFL is putting its athletes in a safer situation out of harm’s way.

The XFL is in a unique position compared to these other sports leagues, as it is their inaugural season and the league is trying to establish themselves. While the other sports leagues know that when they resume play, their fans will resume tuning in, the XFL doesn’t have that luxury. It will be harder for the XFL to play a second season if they don’t even finish their first season.

The XFL has more to lose than these other sports leagues, as suspending the season could mean the end of the league itself. The XFL has been trying to build their brand, grow viewership, and increase fandom over the last month and a half, and will lose a lot of their momentum with the league suspending play.

If the league delays the season and picks up play closer to the NFL season, football fans might have lost interest by that point and have already begun focusing on the upcoming NFL season. Not to mention, many XFL players were using their opportunity in the league to get more tape and showcase themselves to earn more NFL opportunities.

If there is a silver lining, it is that the players will still be paid their salary and benefits for the 2020 season. This is a classy move that demonstrates the league cares about its players. It would be really nice if the XFL were able to pay the salaries of the concession vendors and stadium personnel that will no longer be able to work over the foreseeable future.

The XFL canceling the rest of the season is an incredible disappointment for the young league. The XFL showed a lot of promise and was a lot of fun to watch. But, these are crazy times and the XFL made the right move in suspending the rest of the 2020 season.

Hopefully, we will get to see more XFL football in 2021.

For more XFL content, check out Zachary’s author page or Twitter.

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