After weeks of craving some sort of organized sports, fans can finally plan on seeing their first glimpse of non-virtual action, as the Premier Lacrosse League announced plans for the PLL Championship Series, a two week quarantined tournament that adapts to the current COVID-19 climate.
League Co-Founder, CMO and Atlas LC midfielder Paul Rabil announced the specifics early Wednesday morning on TODAY, stating that the seven-team series will take shape in two parts, beginning on July 25, and all games will be aired on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold. During the first week, teams will compete in a 14-game group play format, with two games per day, to determine seeding for the following week’s single-elimination tournament. The last team standing will ultimately be crowned the 2020 PLL Champion. 20 games in 16 days, all under the watchful eye of doctors.
“The Premier Lacrosse League is excited to be a leader in the return of pro sports this July,” said Rabil in a recent statement. “Although we’ve pivoted our originally scheduled season to a fully quarantined, fanless model, our PLL Championship Series will bring sports fans an innovative and thrilling experience that only the best players in the world can provide. It’s taken a village of top-notch executives to develop and this is a testament to the forward-thinking prowess that the PLL has become renowned for.”
With other professional leagues still pondering a safe and appropriate return, the PLL’s tournament – consisting of less than 300 participants – will be supervised by what the league calls a COVID-19 Medical Committee, a group of multiple physicians, including infectious disease experts, who will implement regular preventative measures, all while restricting all travel both in and out of the event’s location. If someone tests positive after arrival, the entire event will be postponed, according to Rabil.
The venue for the PLL Championship Series will be announced at a later date, with league officials still pondering sites in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Midwest. The league’s regular season was slated to kick off on May 29 in Foxborough, Mass. but now Rabil and the PLL’s focus turns to generating revenue through both distribution and sponsorships. It might be months away, but if it’s one of the few live televised sporting events, there should be a lot of eyes watching. Rabil and the PLL certainly have our attention.