First off, I’d like to thank Paul for the nod to the Patriots and their sixth Super Bowl championship. I know Shears probably loved that too.
The Premiere Lacrosse League announced today that it will play its first ever games on the turf of Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. We’ve known for months the date the PLL was going to kick off, but we didn’t know where. Well, now we have our answer.
The other host cities have not been announced yet, but in my genuinely unbiased opinion, I think they picked a fantastic place to start. Over the past decade, Gillette Stadium has warmly adopted the sport of lacrosse throughout multiple levels. It is best known for hosting NCAA Championship Weekend five times in that span, but what people may not know is the Boston Cannons of the MLL also played there for a season while Harvard Stadium was being re-turfed.
Quick side note: The Cannons also open up their season on June 1 in Quincy, MA. Meaning, the PLL and MLL will immediately be going head-to-head for viewership. PLL has the shiny new TV deal, the larger venue, and the hype – in my opinion, it won’t be much of a competition.
As I mentioned before, Gillette has been a tremendous host for the sport of lacrosse over the past 10 years, and I don’t see June 1-2 being any different. It seems the PLL wanted to choose a popular lacrosse market to kick off their tour which leaves plenty of options. Outside of Massachusetts, there’s New York (both mainland and Long Island), Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Northern Virginia to name a few. The league could have selected any of these and I don’t think anyone would have argued with the decision. There had to be something that separated Gillette Stadium from the rest.
Aside from the fact that Chris Hogan, who plays professional football in this very same stadium, is a PLL investor, I would say that “something” is Patriots’ Owner Robert Kraft. Again, I swear I’m being unbiased here. Take a look at Paul Rabil’s initial tweet after the formal announcement was made:
Call me crazy, but that’s pretty cut-and-dry. Again referring to NCAA Championship weekend, the Krafts have opened up their venue and Patriot Place five out of the last ten years for lacrosse and each year has been met with much success. I think the family sees the direction this sport is heading and wants to be a part of it.
So, we now have our first confirmed venue for the brand new Premier Lacrosse League. six teams, 160 players, and one historic venue. If you’re planning on heading out to Foxboro for the games, be sure to read up on the do’s and don’t’s of Gillette.
In the words of PLL Coach John Paul, “106 Days.”