BREAKING: NLL Labor Dispute
Oh, how the tides have turned. After being just a month away from their inaugural game in franchise history, both of the first two weekends (12/1 and 12/8) of the 2018-19 National Lacrosse League (NLL) season have been cancelled following a labor dispute deadline between the league and the Professional Lacrosse Players Association (PLPA) that passed at 12 pm PST on Thursday. The news was confirmed by both the NLL’s official website and the Seals Public Relations department.
The league’s official press release shed some light on what was offered to the players prior to Thursday’s deadline, the league says in part that “We have put a very good and fair offer on the table, which includes a 25% increase in salary and benefits for the players.”
The decision to cancel both weekends of the season comes with the league announcing that Player’s Association has even instructed players to not attend training camp or even submit their physicals, as the league confirmed.
“The PLPA has instructed its players not to attend training camps or submit to physicals. The players have in fact followed these instructions which has made it impossible for the teams to form rosters or otherwise operate. Therefore, we reluctantly have no choice except to cancel the first two weekends of the 2018-19 season, December 1 and December 8, 2018.”
In its official team press release, the Seals confirm that “Since January, the league has been negotiating in good faith for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Professional Lacrosse Players’ Association... Despite being presented with the most lucrative offer in the 32-year history of the National Lacrosse League, the players have opted not to report, thus cancelling the first two weeks of the 2018-19 season.”
In short, the league’s most recent proposal included shares of both league and team revenues with the players would’ve allowed the minimum time necessary for teams to prepare for the season.
Seals president Steve Govett expressed his disappointment in the announcement of the news via the team’s press release.
“It’s disappointing, first and foremost, for our season ticket members, fans, corporate sponsors and community partners who have been eagerly awaiting Opening Night for more than a year – they deserve better!”
“Since the announcement of an expansion team having been awarded to the city of San Diego last August, we’ve worked tirelessly in the local community by attending, participating in, supporting and creating well over 100 local events. Now all of the excitement for Opening Night has been put on hold until January 12.”
Despite the announcement of the first two weekends being cancelled, Govett reassured that the Seals will “[We will] not waiver in our promise to provide an unparalleled and affordable fan experience to San Diegans.”
The team will now begin the process of reaching out to season ticket holders, ticket buyer, corporate sponsor and community partner. At this point, the Seals are now expecting to make their first splash in the NLL on January 12, 2019, at 7 pm PST against the Rochester Knighthawks.
This story will continue to be updated as more details and information become available.