Previously, the NLL, the highest level of professional box lacrosse had delayed their normal 2021 season and planned on having an abbreviated spring season. I was skeptical that they would be able to pull this off since unlike the other major sports, lacrosse doesn’t make money outside of attendance.
Today the NLL announced that they would be cancelling their plans for the 2021 season and would move their efforts to planning for the 2022 season. This sucks but this move should not have been surprising to anyone, since there aren’t revenue streams for the league outside of attendance. No TV deals and no big endorsement deals. The NLL runs on people in the arena.
Obviously with all of the coronavirus regulations going on across the country, there was no way that the league was going to be able to pack fans into these barns. New York State for example, which has three NLL teams (Buffalo, Rochester and NYC) weren’t even allowed to have more than 7000 fans in the stands for the Bills playoff games outdoors in a 72k person stadium. So there was no chance that these small indoor arenas would be allowed to have even close to the amount of fans needed to be able to feasibly operate the league, play the players (very small) salaries, arena dues, etc. to be able to run the NLL this season.
This blows but it’s really the only move that could’ve happened for this year. Hopefully all these bullshit coronavirus restrictions could lift soon so everything could go back to normal and we can have a normal NLL league year in 2022. And since the PLL has some TV deals and a bigger infrastructure in place, hopefully we’ll have normal field lacrosse this coming summer, so we at least get some pro lax this year.