This past weekend was supposed to mark Week 6 of the 2020 XFLseason. But just a couple of days before the games were supposed to kick off, the league announced that the season had been suspended due to the current health challenges that the world is facing. Unlike other professional leagues, the XFL signaled an end to its regular season, but is fully committed to returning in 2021.
Here are four things that you need to know in regards to the future of the XFL.
1. Why the season was stopped
As the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to affect all aspects of life, the sports world was not spared by any means. With the NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, PGA Tour, and the NCAA either canceling, postponing or rescheduling games and events, the XFL had to follow suit. Although the XFL did not specifically name COVID-19 in its press release, it was the obvious impetus to shut things down. This was done to help prevent the potential spread of the virus.
2. The XFL did have a contingency plan in place
As preparations for Week 6 began, the league initially announced that the fans would be forbidden from attending the Seattle Dragons home game against the Los Angeles Wildcats. This came in the wake of a CenturyLink Field employee testing positive for the virus.
The league had also considered keeping fans out of every game in an abundance of caution. But as other leagues started to halt their operations, the XFL was forced to do the same. Over the weekend it was revealed that an unnamed Seattle Dragons player had tested positive for COVID-19.
3. Players and coaches will receive their full salaries
In announcing the suspension of operations, XFL commissioner Oliver Luck said that all players and coaches will receive their full salaries and benefits for the 2020 season. The average player makes $55,000 with quarterbacks making far more. This is the right thing to do since the current personnel of the league's eight teams could change by the time the XFL resumes operations and players may not have other sources of income at a time when people should be isolating themselves.
4. The XFL should return in 2021
The league is on solid financial footing, fan interest was present during the first five weeks, the XFL is very popular on social media, while ticket sales and television viewership posted steady and consistent numbers each week. The XFL will allow its players to try out for the NFL starting on Friday, after previously requiring them to stay through the XFL playoffs in April, but you can expect plenty of familiar faces back in 2021.
— Gabe Salgado is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He's also written for NBC, Fox, The Sporting News, The Sports Journal, The Undefeated and Complex. He's a co-host of The Rewind Sports: 60. Follow him on Twitter @GabeSalgado82.