New York has a new professional sports team.
The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), which owns all eight teams under its banner, announced on Tuesday the allocation of home cities/states to each franchise for the first time. Notably, New York is now home to the Atlas, a team boasting talents such as:
- Trevor Baptiste, face-off specialist, is a Newark, N.J. native who was the PLL 2022 MVP and four-time PLL All-Star
- Jeff Teat, attack, a three-time PLL All-Star, former PLL Rookie of the Year (2021) and member of the NLL’s New York Riptide
- Chris Gray, attack, is a Wading River native who is the No. 1 points leader in NCAA history
- Gavin Adler, defenseman, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 PLL draft, is a Hewlett native and former All-American at Cornell
The new homes for each PLL team are as follows:
- New York Atlas
- Boston Cannons
- Philadelphia Waterdogs
- Maryland Whipsnakes
- Carolina Chaos
- Denver Outlaws (formerly Chrome Lacrosse Club)
- Utah Archers
- California Redwoods
While next season’s schedule and game locations haven’t been released yet, a PLL spokesperson confirmed to GLI that Atlas will represent the entire state across multiple regions, including Long Island.
Expressing his enthusiasm, Paul Rabil, co-founder of the league alongside his brother Mike in 2018, stated, “Our eight lacrosse clubs are coming home. This is the biggest moment in our league’s history. We couldn’t be more excited about the incredible growth and enthusiasm we’re witnessing in these vibrant lacrosse communities.”
Operating under a touring model for its first five seasons, where teams lacked specific geographic affiliations, the PLL has transitioned to a new phase. While maintaining a 14-week, tour-based season, eight of the league’s 10 regular season game weekends will now take place in the teams’ respective home markets. Two regular season weekends will still be hosted in other markets, with the All-Star Game, Playoffs, and Championship scheduled for neutral locations to be disclosed in 2024.
This is the biggest move the league has made since merging with competitor MLL in 2020. This merger granted the PLL rights to all former MLL teams, like the Boston Cannons, for potential future expansion, and allowed MLL players to join the PLL without being tied to existing long-term deals with the MLL.
Embed from Getty Images