Professional lacrosse is coming to Audi Field.
Premier Lacrosse League, founded in October to rival the existing Major League Lacrosse, will play a slate of three games at D.C. United’s home stadium in July. The league will play two games on Saturday and one Sunday.
PLL’s six teams do not have geographic bases and instead will tour 12 cities over a 14-week season.
“I’ve seen firsthand the growth lacrosse has had in the wider metro region,” Paul Rabil, the league’s founder and a Montgomery County native, said in a recent interview. “I think there’s a misconception that Maryland and New York are the hotbed states for lacrosse. It’s actually [originally] Baltimore and Long Island. Getting to be one of the ambassadors for the game and seeing it proliferate over the past two decades since I picked up a stick when I was 12 has been exciting.”
After leading Johns Hopkins to national championships in 2005 and 2007, Rabil spent 11 seasons playing in MLL while building his own media company and investment firm. He’s widely considered one of the best players in lacrosse history. He announced the start of the PLL, backed by venture capital funding, this fall and lured a contingent of MLL’s best players away by more than doubling salaries and securing a media rights deal with NBC.
The move has created a conflict within the lacrosse community over which league and which players to support as the two try to coexist. PLL is set to visit Boston, New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Atlanta and the District in June and July before heading west. MLL has teams in four of those markets.
Rabil said the league looked for newer venues that could accommodate close to 25,000 fans. Audi Field seats 20,000 spectators. Homewood Field at Johns Hopkins, where the PLL will play on June 22 and 23, seats 8,500.
Fans can purchase a weekend pass for admission to all three games for $50. The average individual ticket price will cost between $29 and $39, depending on the venue.
“We’re really excited to be in our nation’s capital in our inaugural season playing in one of the best venues in the country,” Rabil said. “It’s going to be a really exciting weekend for our sport.”
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