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Coronavirus prompts XFL to suspend season, refund ticket holders

Thomas Barrabi

The XFL said Thursday it will suspend operations due to the coronavirus outbreak, but the upstart league affirmed that players will still be paid.

“Currently, the XFL will not be playing its regular-season games,” the XFL said in a statement. “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.”

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XFL players were expected to earn an average of $55,000 for the 2020 season, though some of that money was tied to game performance bonuses. Some players, such as quarterbacks, were expected to earn up to $250,000.

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The XFL’s decision to suspend play followed similar moves by other U.S. sports leagues. The MLB, NHL, NBA and MLS have all suspended or delayed their seasons as of Thursday. The NCAA canceled March Madness basketball tournaments as well as upcoming championship events in other sports.

The XFL had five weeks remaining in its inaugural regular season. The league received positive early reviews for innovations in on-field play and game broadcasts but has seen a significant dip in television ratings since its debut in February.

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WWE CEO Vince McMahon, the XFL’s founder, has committed $500 million of his own money to the league.

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