The pro lacrosse organization consists of eight teams. For the first time, each PLL team will get a home match in their home cities.
Just over a week before the start of its fifth season, the Premier Lacrosse League announced it will assign home cities to its eight teams for the first time, beginning in 2024.
Fans will have the chance to vote on team locations starting June 3 at pllvote.com and the PLL app. The league will then ultimately select cities based on industry-leading analysis, preferred venues, partnerships, fan engagement, and historical ticket sales data in pro lacrosse. PLL will announce the results during the fourth quarter of 2023.
“Moving our eight teams into home cities will mark the biggest investment in the league since its inception,” PLL co-founder and president Paul Rabil said. “This move will unlock deeper, more connected relationships between our fans, teams, and players. Continuing to build a global presence around lacrosse and driving our mission forward will remain core to our approach. We’re giving the PLL local love and global awareness.”
The league will continue its season format of playing games on 14 weekends between June and September. It will also retain its touring model with all eight teams playing in one city each weekend. Starting in 2024, all eight home cities will host one of the 10 regular season match weekends, with the other two held at to-be-determined neutral sites. The All-Star game, playoffs, and championship game will take place at locations to be named at a later date.
“When we looked at our growth over the last five years, matched by our goals, objectives and expansion, tying our teams to home cities was a natural next step for the business,” said Mike Rabil, PLL co-founder and CEO. “From our major media rights deal with ESPN, to the growing population of 45 million lacrosse fans across the US, the future of our sport is bright. Our teams’ presence in home cities will fuel our league’s future growth by tapping into the most universally understood driver of fan engagement.”
The league will remain a single entity, meaning PLL will own and operate all eight teams. The league is backed by an investment group including 35V, Joe Tsai Sports, Arctos Sports Partners, CAA, The Raine Group, The Kraft Group, The Chernin Group, Bolt Capital, and Brett Jefferson Holdings.
“We feel excited and ready to give fans of the PLL home teams,” PLL board member Joe Tsai said. “It’s a big step. Teams that are embraced by their communities can become a symbol of how to engage, support and believe in something together. I’ve learned that every market interacts with their favorite team and players differently. We’re up for that challenge.”
Matches each week will air on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN+.
“We are thrilled about this next evolution of the PLL,” said ESPN president of content Burke Magnus. “We believe having teams in home markets will create a deeper connection with fans, enabling us to share more organic stories and add new features to the broadcast. It is a smart progression at the perfect time.”
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