The Premier Lacrosse League just wrapped up their quarterfinal playoffs weekend at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. While sitting in the second row of section 107 on Labor Day, I thought of four reasons why the PLL will continue to popularize professional lacrosse in America. The final game saw the Cannons defeating the Atlas. You may remember the Cannons from when they were the “Boston Cannons” in Major League Lacrosse.
The Cannons are the only PLL club that migrated over from the MLL. This merger occurred in late 2020. PLL Co-Founder Paul Rabil (who is the most well-known lacrosse name in the country) was a Cannons player from 2008 – 2014. He also finished his career in the PLL, playing for one year on the Cannons.
Now, the PLL is winding down its fifth season. They have a mainstream distribution partnership with ESPN. Champion makes their popular merchandise. Furthermore, they are focusing on the little things each year to make the necessary steps to grow the sport.
It’s All About The Youth
I attended a few different PLL events last season. While my kids and I certainly enjoyed the experience, I was surprised that the league did not leverage the popularity of local youth programs in each state. This year, my son’s club program was quickly offered the opportunity to attend the playoff round via a group rate. Upon roaming the stadium, I noticed many of his club-mates as they all opted to wear their team shorts or shirt. This is a simple (but super-impactful) win. In addition, the PLL offered a clinic prior to the playoff games, where three players from there pro teams would come out and teach kids for an hour. They would conclude the session by signing autographs and taking pictures. Resonating with the youth of today will be key to bringing the sport to a wider fanbase in the decades to come.