By Terrance Turner
The XFL has filed for bankruptcy.
Alpha Entertainment, the company that owns the XFL, filed for Chapter 11 today after reporting that it owes more than $10 million in liabilities. The move comes just three days after the XFL suspended its operations and laid off nearly all of its employees (on Good Friday, no less). According to the New York Times, “Alpha Entertainment said that it had liabilities of between $10 million and $50 million, and that it had 1,000 to 5,000 creditors. It also listed assets of between $10 million and $50 million.” (Why is this range so broad? And how much do the assets outweigh liabilities?)
ESPN reported today that seven of the eight XFL coaches are among the creditors. One of them is Dallas Renegades coach Bob Stoops, who is owed over $1 million. Houston Roughnecks coach June Jones is owed over $583,000. Another of those creditors is the University of Houston, which was supposed to host the XFL championship game this month. The XFL owes the stadium some $294,000 in venue costs. Sports reporter Dallas Rovell provided screenshots of the financial details on Twitter:
Significantly, these documents raise questions about the dealings of XFL founder Vince McMahon, who also is in charge of the WWE. Per ESPN, McMahon sold $100 million in WWE stock so he could funnel that money into Alpha Entertainment. At a press conference in 2018, McMahon said he was the sole source of funding for the league, adding that “there will be absolutely no crossover whatsoever” between the WWE and XFL. But as indicated above, the WWE owns roughly 23.5% of the XFL’s Class B stock.
The league released a statement to the Hollywood Reporter:
“The XFL quickly captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of people who love football. 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.”