This week we saw the Professional Box Lacrosse Association (PBLA) announce their original seven teams. With the announcement we were also met with several questions from curious fans about the new league. Luckily, I was able to immediately make contact with the leagues front office, and a representative of the league was able to answer the following questions:
Where does the PBLA see itself in comparison to the greater professional lacrosse landscape?
We are a professional league that is focused on tapping into the best pool of American players we’ve ever seen and make small, but impactful changes to the game in efforts to bring back a faster and more physical brand of lacrosse like we saw in the 90s, with the better talent pool of American players we have today.
The PBLA isn’t just changing the game on the field, but also off the field. Fan experience is our focus and we plan to have pre-game block parties, in-game open fan zone parties behind the glass, and post game celebrations on the field with the team for the families. We’re changing the rules both on and off the field in efforts to turn up the fun, shine a light on the greatest sport on two feet, and create a lasting experience that will grow our lacrosse fanbase and keep them coming back for more.
We believe that formula will create the best brand of professional box lacrosse we’ve ever seen. Our plan is well thought out and backed by over 100 years of professional lacrosse experience and has been vetted by some of the greatest legends of the game. We understand the evolution of box lacrosse and where changes need to be made in order to achieve our goal of making our game the best version of professional box lacrosse fans have ever seen.
You list seven markets with New England showing two cities, does this make up the original eight teams?
It does not. Manchester, NH and Springfield, MA will share the New England team in year one and split home games. We’re finalizing the schedule now and will have more information around that in the coming weeks. New England is such a huge market and tremendous lacrosse hotbed that we want to assess interest in year one and potentially have each market break away as their own in year two.
What kind of coaches should we expect in the PBLA?
The highest level. Our biggest investment will be in our players, coaches, and strength and conditioning. In order to meet our goal of creating the best brand of professional box lacrosse fans have ever seen, we need to make sure the right people are in place to achieve that.
Will players be compensated?
Yes, players will be compensated.
What is the ideal player pool for the league?
D1 All-American players that want to take their game to the next level.
Can we expect games to be streamed? If so will there be a paywall?
Yes, games will be streamed and there will be access to all. More on that in the coming weeks.
How many games will teams play and what months will the season be? What is the PBLA post season format?
Fourteen games, seven home and seven away. Playoffs will be single elimination with home games being awarded to the highest seeded teams. More on this once our advisory team finalizes the playoff format.
MORE ON OUR PLANS
We are right sizing the game in mid-size venues where we can find immediate success and create incredible experiences that will keep the fans coming back. MLS went thru this a number of years back when they used to play in football stadiums. I recall going to a KC Wizards game at Arrowhead Stadium where 20,000 fans showed up and the atmosphere and optics were awful in a 76,416 seat stadium. Fast forward to today and Sporting KC plays in their own stadium that seats 18,467. Sporting KC packs out every game at Children’s Mercy Park and it’s now an incredible experience for their fans.
Our focus in year one is established lacrosse hotbeds where we will have a built in fanbase that loves lacrosse and is highly knowledgeable of the game. Our focus in year two will be to expand in areas where we believe we can further grow the game and establish a strong/loyal fanbase in emerging lacrosse hotbeds. This will allow our league to have a large national footprint and truly establish ourselves at the highest level of professional box lacrosse. From there, we will continue our expansion in years 3-5 to ultimately have a presence from coast to coast.
MORE INFORMATION ON THE PROFESSIONAL BOX LACROSSE ASSOCIATION