The National Lacrosse League (NLL) announced Thursday it reluctantly has no choice but to cancel the first two weekends of the 2018-19 season due to a labour dispute with its players.
NLL has been negotiating with the Professional Lacrosse Players’ Association (PLPA) — the exclusive bargaining agent for players — and a collective bargaining agreement has not been reached.
League officials said the PLPA has instructed its players not to attend training camps or submit to physicals. The players have followed these instructions which has made it impossible for the teams to form rosters or otherwise operate, the NLL said in a statement.
All games on Dec. 1 and Dec. 8 have been cancelled by the league.
The NLL said it has proposed a fair calculation of bonuses based on attendance growth plus a percentage increase each year to account for growth in all attendance-related revenue streams.
“We have put a very good and fair offer on the table, which includes a 25 per cent increase in salary and benefits for the players,” the NLL statement said.
“A guaranteed 400 per cent increase in expenses without a corresponding guaranteed revenue increase is not something, as stewards of the league, we can responsibly agree to.”
The players’ association told Global News it’s sorry the league chose not to accept either of its two proposals and they welcome dialogue around ways to create the partnership both sides deserve.
“Our proposal Wednesday would have us play under the first two years of their seven-year proposal, with the prospect of a five-year term if an agreement on the definition and application of gross average team revenue is reached by January of 2020,” the PLPA statement said.
“Our one-year deal has never come off the table, instead they chose to inconvenience themselves by cancelling games.”
Founded in 1986, the NLL is comprised of 12 franchises in North America that include: Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, New England Black Wolves, Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, Vancouver Warriors and Halifax ‘18.