Denver Outlaws without a home after Major League Lacrosse merges with PLL
The Denver Outlaws’ future as a professional lacrosse franchise appears to be in flux.
The Premier Lacrosse League announced on Wednesday that it is merging with Major League Lacrosse. The move creates a unified outdoor lacrosse league that keeps the PLL name and adds the MLL’s Boston Cannons — rebranded as Cannons Lacrosse Club — and leaves six other MLL franchises on the outside.
Among those six are the Outlaws, who began playing in the MLL in 2006.
PLL does not have home market teams but rather tours from city to city. The league will retain the rights to the now-retired team identities with the option to use these brands in future expansion.
“To all the fans and former teammates, I thank you for an amazing 13 years I wouldn’t trade them for anything,” Outlaws president and former star defender Matt Brocklet wrote on Twitter. “2020 has been a hard year for many reasons but the future of pro lacrosse is in good hands. I will offer my support and guidance to all the players, coaches and staff during this transition.”
It’s unclear what will happen to pro lacrosse in Denver. MLL had become a single-entity league earlier in 2020, taking over control of the franchises. Previously, Pat Bowlen owned the Outlaws, but the club was taken over by the league when the family restructured its sports holdings. Meanwhile, the indoor lacrosse team owned by Stan Kroenke playing in the National Lacrosse League is still around. The University of Denver’s men’s lacrosse team has been successful in recent years, boosting the sport’s profile in the state.
“As we all think about the magnitude of this merger and all the implications it will have on the players,” standout Outlaws player John Grant Jr. wrote on Twitter, “let’s pause and have a thought and prayer for all the behind the scenes people who just lost their job during the pandemic ridden holidays.”
Since the Outlaws were born in 2006 they have won three league championships and have been among the most supported franchises in MLL.
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