Chesapeake Bayhawks end 20-year run as pro outdoor lacrosse leagues MLL and PLL merge

Professional outdoor lacrosse will look a lot different in 2021 with the Premier Lacrosse League announcing Wednesday that it was merging with Major League Lacrosse to form one league.

The PLL in a release on its website said that “subsequent season operations and activities to formally exist under the Premier Lacrosse League.”


The merger will end the run of the Chesapeake Bayhawks, which played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis the past 10 years after previously playing in Baltimore and Washington D.C.

The MLL’s Boston Cannons franchise will be absorbed into the PLL and the PLL will “retain the rights to all of the former MLL teams for future expansion considerations.”


The PLL said in the coming months, details will be announced regarding the 2021 Expansion Draft, as well as more information on how transitioning MLL players may enter the PLL Player Pool.

MLL Commissioner, Sandy Brown, said, “this merger only benefits the future of the game, for it combines the history of professional lacrosse with an innovative approach that has already accelerated the game’s growth. Further, the major market commercial opportunities are at their infancy. The runway for a combined effort is robust.”

The PLL was cofounded in 2019 by brothers Paul and Mike Rabil, both DeMatha graduates.

Paul Rabil, a Johns Hopkins graduate, said: “The PLL and MLL partnership is a massive step forward for professional lacrosse. Merging the two organizations and removing some of the challenges that athletes, sponsors and fans faced will undoubtedly advance the game forward. This one’s particularly nostalgic for me and a number of PLL players given that we began our careers and played in championship games with MLL prior to the PLL’s launch. Today and forever we share in that history and continue to build the future of pro lacrosse together.”

Major League Lacrosse was founded in 2001.