The PLL has done a decent job hitting multiple different lacrosse hotbeds across the country when it comes to scheduling, however I don’t think it is perfect. Paul and Mike Rabil have the difficult task of picking locations that are most likely to turn a profit which sometimes means picking a safe location with little to no risk. This is my letter to the PLL containing a proposed 2023 schedule.
Dear Paul and Mike,
Excellent choice going to ESPN for the 2022 season! Lacrosse has finally found its home. The commentators we love in the Spring (Quint, Carc, Cotter, Stanwich-Bursch) have helped connect the college and professional game.
Let’s build on that momentum generated from 2022 by going Back to School for 2023.
When deciding where to go for 2023. I wanted to think about how we could maximize the experience for the PLL, the colleges, and the fans. Here are the criteria that I used to decide.
- No Football Stadiums: Sorry, Maryland. Let’s focus our efforts on lacrosse (and soccer)-only facilities. This may mean smaller venues but could lead to fuller stands and more of a festival-like atmosphere. Homewood only seats 8500 and I don’t hear anyone complaining
- Capitalize on emerging markets or schools. The women’s game and MCLA teams are growing. Let’s see if the PLL can push the number of D1 teams past 75 by trying to draw interest.
- Have the college host lacrosse alumni, showcases, and/or tournaments to draw people in for the entire weekend. This is a great opportunity for the PLL Academy to grab its foothold across the country.
Week 1 Princeton
📍Sherrerd Field at Class of 1952 Stadium
Princeton was the team of the 90s winning six championships. Sherrerd FIeld was rocking in 2022 and would get the PLL party started at New Jersey’s private school.
Week 2 UVA
A great facility to watch a game in person or on the grass. The PLL would have the option to play during the day or under the lights.
Week 3 Rutgers
Rutgers gave us a preview of what an excitable crowd looks like during their opening-round win against Harvard. A visit by the PLL in 2023 may convince the Jersey boys that Yurcak should be on the schedule every year.
Week 4 Yale
Joe Tsai built a beautiful new facility for the Bulldogs. I think the PLL players would enjoy making use of the facilities before the game.
Week 5 Texas
📍Mike A. Myers Track & Soccer Stadium
Everything is bigger in Texas. Kyle Hartzell welcomes the boys to the Long Horn State.
Week 6 UNC (All-Star Game)
Once of the best venues for college lacrosse. The newly renovated Dorrance field would make an ideal place for fans in the stands and other festivities in the commons area.
Week 7 Oregon
Go west young man to the land of Nike. Sure capacity will be limited, but maybe we could do something about those giant Champion patches? The Ducks have a women’s lacrosse program, could a men’s program follow?
Week 8 Utah
The Utes are fresh off their inaugural season in the ASUN. The PLL can make their return to Salt Lake City, this time with fans.
Week 9 Arizona State
Arizona is an emerging lacrosse market and the Sun Devils have a women’s team. Like Oregon, here is an opportunity to expose the administration to the game and add to the number of men’s D1 teams.
Week 10 Notre Dame
Bring on the bagpipes and Touchdown Jesus. The PLL wraps up the season by hitting the first of two major college football markets.
Week 11 Ohio State
📍Ohio State Lacrosse Stadium
It was a toss-up between Michigan and Ohio State here. The Buckeyes get the nod with the more competitive football schedule that may draw a few more walk-ups to the PLL games in their final weekend of the regular season.
Week 12 Albany
📍Tom & Mary Casey Stadium
Albany showed they are ready for the big time with a lively crowd during the opening weekend of 2022.
Week 13 Hofstra (Semifinals)
📍James M. Shuart Stadium
You have to end in the hotbeds, Long Island and Baltimore. Baltimore looked like they had more fans in Week 4. Long Island gets the semifinals in this 2023 PLL schedule.
Week 14 Johns Hopkins (Championship)
Why not crown a champion where Paul won a national championship! Maybe he can bring the band too!
Thank you for your time. It was tough breaking this down to 12 and also not using football stadiums. Let me know in the comments if you think I missed anywhere.