In a move that sent shock-waves through the lacrosse community, the legends have merged with the future. Players and fans awoke this morning to the announcement that a merger has been completed between Major League Lacrosse (“MLL”), which began back in 2001 and the upstart Premier Lacrosse League (“PLL”) to bring all outdoor lacrosse activities and competition in the United States under one brand moniker. The merger will see an expansion in the PLL, which is technically an absorbing of the last champions of the MLL in that of the Boston Cannons who will be added as an 8th team and rebranded as Cannons Lacrosse Club. The new PLL will also hold the asset rights to all former MLL teams as consideration for future expansion opportunities. There will be an expansion draft to fill the roster for the Cannons as well as transitioning MLL players into the PLL Player Pool.
Sandy Brown, the exiting MLL Commissioner explained to the media that “this merger only benefits the future of the game, for it combines the history of professional lacrosse with an innovative approach that has already accelerated the game’s growth. Further, the major market commercial opportunities are at their infancy. The runway for a combined effort is robust.”
Those comments were echoed by PLL Co-founder and CMO, Paul Rabil, who stated “the PLL and MLL partnership is a massive step forward for professional lacrosse. Merging the two organizations and removing some of the challenges that athletes, sponsors and fans faced will undoubtedly advance the game forward. This one’s particularly nostalgic for me and a number of PLL players given that we began our careers and played in championship games with MLL prior to the PLL’s launch. Today and forever we share in that history and continue to build the future of pro lacrosse together.”
PLL co-founder and CEO Mike Rabil added in final comment that “the unification of the PLL and MLL puts the game first by providing our athletes and fans a single destination for the best lacrosse in the world, across every medium, coming this Summer 2021 on NBC Sports. I can’t think of anything better and more exciting for the sport.”