NLL Players' CBA Concessions Helps Bring League Closer To Financial Stability
NLL Colorado Mammoth President and BOG Chair Steve Govett "lauds the players’ co-operation in ensuring the league’s stability" during recent CBA negotiations, according to Neil Stevans of the CP. The NLL on Saturday begins its 28th season with a "novel" new CBA, which saw players accept a "two-year pay freeze even though schedules have increased from 16 games to 18, and lineups have decreased from 20 to 18." Edmonton Rush D Chris Corbeil said, "We were concerned with the financial stability of the league. We realize a lot of teams are struggling to stay in business and as players we want to see the league survive so we’re able to play lacrosse for years to come." He said, "We feel like the NLL has turned a corner. Our focus (in CBA talks) had to be on creating positive momentum for all of our teams and to show the viability of our league to potential new partners for expansion, for television and for sponsorships. We had to reduce costs without damaging the product." Stevens wrote the NLL "could be one lucrative league-wide TV deal away from flourishing and, with more and more all-sports channels starting up, it could happen sooner rather than later." If not, the league’s "devoted fans will continue to enjoy some of the lowest ticket prices of any pro sport." Govett: "This was an extremely collaborative process, one that we hope will set the stage for the long-term stability and growth of the NLL. By allowing us to focus on fixing our business model, the nine teams will remain dedicated to the cause while attracting new franchise owners to the mix, ultimately replacing jobs that have been lost over time and growing the pie for everyone" (CP, 12/26).