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XFL files for bankruptcy, with Bob Stoops among largest creditors

The XFL was just five weeks into their comeback season when the COVID-19 pandemic halted play and now it looks like we may never see another XFL game again.

The XFL confirmed it filed for bankruptcy Monday.

“The XFL quickly captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of people who love football,” the spring league said. “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.”

The league laid off all its employees and suspended operations Friday.

When the XFL announced last month it was prematurely ending the 2020 season because of COVID-19, the startup league said it would return in 2021. It is possible someone could buy the league, but it seems more likely spring football is done for the foreseeable future after failures -- for different reasons -- of the Alliance of American Football and the XFL the past two springs.

XFL owner Vince McMahon, who is chairman and CEO of the WWE, twice has tried to get the XFL rolling. He has yet to speak publicly about the league folding again.

The Chapter 11 filing, officially made by Alpha Entertainment, listed the XFL with assets and liabilities each in the range of $10 million to $50 million, Kevin Seifert of ESPN reports. The St. Louis Sports Commission, at $1.6 million, was the largest creditor.

According to Darren Rovell of The Action Network, creditors also include Dallas Renegades coach Bob Stoops ($1.083 million), Tampa Bay Vipers coach Marc Trestman ($777,777), Ticketmaster ($655,148), St. Louis BattleHawks coach Jonathan Hayes ($633,333), other coaches ($583,333 each) and MetLife Stadium lease ($368,000).