The Rise of Lacrosse
“Lacrosse’s million dollar man,”deemed so by US Lacrosse Magazine, has just raised the bar-or stick. Paul Rabil, a John Hopkins alumni has been playing professional lacrosse since 2008 and has taken on the task of bringing his sport to the next level. Rabil, who was named MVP in 2015, has been the prime contributor to bettering the league.
It is amazing to see how a sport can be so unsupported by the public as it gets more competitive. Unlike football, soccer, basketball and theoretically any other sport, Lacrosse has not been able to gain a following like these other sports have. It is all interesting to see the decline in popularity after college. Kids all over the East coast are lighting up their competition with their elite athleticism. According to US Lacrosse, this past year 447,213 players made up the youth participation rate, while only 12,183 players made up the professional level. This decrease in participation had caused the participation rate to drop to a low of -5.2%, making this the worst year for lacrosse in the history of the sport.
This has been the main focus of Paul Rabil’s new league. Originally, his only goal was to make improvements to the existing league. As time went on, it is projected to be the newest and most supported lacrosse league there has ever been. However, the Premier Lacrosse League is projected to come with some sweet deals for the players themselves, which is quite appealing. The athletes that are a part of this league will be full-time employees, receive health benefits and will also get an undisclosed equity stake in the league, Bloomberg News reported last week.“ It’s going to be amazing to see just how much support the sport gains given this new platform,” Victoria Sheridan stated.
Just wait, there’s more! This league is going to be sponsored by Warrior Sports, New Balance, and covered by NBC Sports network. This new league is also set to partner with Uninterrupted, Lebron James’ personal media outlet that follows athletes and different sports. This list of big name sponsors is bringing this new league one step closer to to the elite stage.
It will be exciting to see what happens next with this new league and if it gains the attention it's been wanting on a national level.