BY NATHAN FENNO
Three days after the XFL suspended operations, the upstart league that promised “fan-first football” and “less stall, more ball” filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday.
The eight-team league, which canceled its season last month in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, all but evaporated with a 15-page document in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
“Unfortunately, as a new enterprise, we were not insulated from the harsh economic impacts and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 crisis,” the XFL said in a statement.
The filing estimated the league’s liabilities between $10 million and $50 million — there are 1,000 to 5,000 creditors — against the same range in assets.
A list of the 25 largest unsecured creditors attached to the filing provides an unusual glimpse inside the expenses of a professional sports league, albeit one that played only a handful of games before its inaugural season jolted to a stop.
The creditors include seven of the league’s eight head coaches, led by Bob Stoops of the Dallas Renegades ($1 million) and Marc Trestman of the Tampa Bay Vipers ($777,777). Winston Moss, who served as coach and general manager of the Los Angeles Wildcats, is owed $583,333.
Pep Hamilton of the D.C. Defenders is the only coach not listed among the top 25 creditors.
Four creditors are listed as “venue costs” for the use of stadiums in East Rutherford, N.J.; Houston; Tampa Bay, Fla.; and Washington, D.C. The top unsecured creditor is the nonprofit St. Louis Sports Commission at $1.6 million, followed by a television broadcasting services company at $1.2 million.
Other creditors include 47 Brand, a Boston-based apparel company, which is owed $846,000, and XOS Digital, which advertises video editing solutions for professional sports, at $887,752.
The XFL is owned by World Wrestling Entertainment chief executive Vince McMahon through Alpha Entertainment LLC. According to the bankruptcy filing, WWE owned 23.5% of Class B shares in the league, while McMahon owned all Class A shares and the remainder of Class B shares.