Major League Lacrosse will close three franchises for its 2019 season, contracting the size of the league from nine clubs to six.
League-owned teams Ohio Machine, the Florida Launch and the Charlotte Hounds have all been shuttered ahead of the new season. The Hounds will return to MLL under new ownership in 2021, after the completion of construction at American Legion Memorial Stadium.
The 19-year old MLL has recently seen stagnating attendance and competition from the Premier Lacross League, a new entrant into the professional lacrosse space that, unlike MLL, offers players health benefits and full-time employee status.
In a related development, MLL has reacquired all of its media rights. It plans to explore new broadcast, digital and social media options for 2019 and beyond.
“When we announced our MLL strategic plan in August, 2018, our owners were resolute in taking meaningful steps to position the league for success,” said Alexander Brown, MLL Commissioner. “Today’s news of the league restructuring and the re-acquisition of our media rights, are central to our growth.”
The 2019 MLL season will begin on May 31.