The winter- spring league gamble failed again.
Vince McMahon has been down this road before. He started a football league, the XFL, which kicked off in 2001 and died in 2001. In 2020, he tried again with an eight-team league. The XFL started out with good TV ratings and a couple of cities that embraced the product but interest in the XFL began to dwindle. Then came the coronavirus and a sinking stock market. The XFL’s season was suspended because of the coronavirus on March 12 but McMahon promised to return in 2021. It appears that promise will be broken. Startup football leagues have a very high mortality rate. The 2019 startup, the Alliance of American Football, lasted two months. The cause of death was a lack of funding. There was a claim that the AAF took in $12 million worth of revenue and had $100 million worth of expenses. McMahon probably lost money because his revenue streams were limited before the COVID-19 outbreak. The AAF had no government support as in the AAF getting money or tax breaks to play in municipal stadiums and get huge stadium revenue sources. McMahon had the same problem. The AAF was unable to land a big television contract. McMahon had the same problem. The AAF declared Chapter 7, the business was done.
Startup pro football leagues don’t last long. Three American Football Leagues, the All-America Football Conference, the Continental Football League, the World Football League, the United States Football League, the first XFL, the United Football League and the World League of American Football, which was backed by the National Football League, all folded. Lamar Hunt’s American Football League did merge with the NFL in 1966. McMahon had an unfortunate happenstance with the coronavirus outbreak and the stock market slump but McMahon probably can tell you from experience that startup football leagues don’t work succeed.