Major League Lacrosse might have some competition for next summer.
According to Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg, Paul Rabil and a group of sports and media investors, including The Raine Group, will start a brand new professional lacrosse league that is scheduled to start next summer.
The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) will reportedly consist of six teams with plenty of top-talent players, some of them who played for the United States and Canadian national teams this summer in Netanya. According to Soshnick’s report, the players in the PLL will be full-time employees, receive health benefits, and get an equity stake in the league. This is all different than in Major League lacrosse, where many players have second jobs during the week. MLL team owners voted to raise their payroll limit and expand their schedule and game day active roster last week. The nine-team league made a flurry of signings over the past week as well, some for multi-year deals.
Unlike the MLL, the PLL will also reportedly use a tour-based model instead of teams being based in one city, with games being played on Saturday and Sunday. This is a little similar to what the old LXM Pro Tour was, which lasted from 2010 until 2014. Currently, both the UWLX and WPLL use a hybrid-like system where teams are associated with a city, but play the majority of their games away from their “home” territory.
The PLL will reportedly not have a team spending limit and will run from June to September, eliminating any overlap from the NCAA or NLL season. According to Marisa Ingemi of the Boston Herald, the MLL season will also move to a June to September schedule to put it in direct competition with the PLL.
Clients for The Raine Group include a number of professional sports teams, as well as the UFC and Fanatics. The firm is also an investor in Cheddar, DraftKings, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Second Spectrum, Soundcloud, Vice, and Zumba Fitness.
Rabil declined to comment on the story.