The XFL suspended operations, and there's no plan to bring back the Tampa Bay Vipers

The Vipers only played two games at their home field, Raymond James Stadium.

Share on Nextdoor
click to enlarge The XFL suspended operations, and there's no plan to bring back the Tampa Bay Vipers
Photo via Tampa Bay Vipers/Facebook


Despite a previous announcement that said operations would continue in 2021, the XFL announced today that it has thrown in the towel.

Now, amid the XFL suspending operations and laying off the majority of its league and team employees, the Tampa Bay Vipers’ future is also looking grim.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, XFL staff, including coaches and football operations personnel, were informed that they were being dismissed during a Friday conference call without any word of bringing the league back next year.

Although the XFL hasn’t issued an official statement yet, the Tampa Bay Vipers posted “#ReadyToStrike” on Twitter shortly after the disbanding was announced.

The disbanding comes roughly one month after the XFL issued a statement via Twitter that ticket holders would be “issued refunds or credit towards future games” and that it was “committed to playing a full season in 2021 and future years.”

The Vipers only played two games at their home field, Raymond James Stadium, and the team’s only home win was on March 1 against the D.C. Defenders.

Players and coaches won’t be paid through the scheduled season either, despite the aforementioned XFL tweet promising to do so. According to the Times, players and coaches received paychecks on Friday with vacation and overtime payment accounted for.

The paper also reported that a small staff will continue operations at the league’s headquarters in Stamford, Conn. 

This season was the XFL’s second attempt at building an audience. 

The first XFL was founded in 2001 by WWE and NBC. The first league was disbanded three months after its first game, following NBC’s termination of a broadcast contract for a second season. The failed startup cost WWE and NBC $35 million.

Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.

Follow @cl_tampabay on Twitter to get the most up-to-date news + views. Subscribe to our newsletter, too.   

Scroll to read more Sports & Recreation articles

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.