(Photo Courtesy of Toronto Rock)
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) came out on Thursday and suspended the season until further notice, similar to both the NBA and NHL, due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Additionally, NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz came out with a message on Thursday night where he stated that the league was monitoring the outbreak of the virus and was working to reschedule games, address ticketing policies, and adjust their content offerings on B/R Live.
But even after the statement from Commissioner Sakiewicz and from each individual franchise, there are still many questions that hang in the balance as the NLL season is suspended.
When Will Play Resume?
The Biggest and most obvious question that many have is when exactly will the league resume play. And just as big and obvious as a question as it is, there isn’t really any answer at the moment. According to other pro leagues, such as the NBA, 30 days is a good a comfortable amount of time to assume that play will be suspended. But nobody in any leadership position really has any answers at this point as things are changing almost by the minute.
Will The NLL Finish The Regular Season?
While Commissioner Sakiewicz has said that the league is working to reschedule games, there is a chance that the regular season will not resume and the league will just advance to the playoffs. And remember, nobody has even clinched a playoff berth yet, so if the regular season does end up getting cancelled that would mean the playoff bracket would be made with how things stand right now, 15 weeks into the season.
It would likely take multiple weeks before the league decided to cancel the regular season and go directly to the playoffs. But if this league suspension continues into mid-April or early-May, cancelling the regular season may have to be the route that they take.
How Far Would The NLL Push The Season Back?
Whether the league does indeed makeup missed games of decides to skip directly to the playoffs, the question of how far back they would push things remains. If the league resumes play in early-April and only two weeks get rescheduled than there won’t be that much of an impact. But if play stays suspended into May there could be problems.
Let’s say the NLL is suspended until the first weekend in May. That would likely mean kissing any attempt to make up missed games goodbye. But they could still hold the playoffs, even if they run into early July.
It’s also worth mentioning that NLL teams ARE NOT primary tenants in most arenas. So the league will likely run into scheduling issues whether they push the season back two weeks or drop the regular season and run the playoffs deep into the summer.
How Much Revenue Will Be Lost?
How much revenue a team loses because of this season suspension is obviously a question that will have a range of answers based on each individual team. Hopefully, no team loses a significant amount of money, but there is a possibility based on how long this suspension will be in place.
Just like the other sports leagues that are currently suspended, the NLL as a whole will also lose revenue. And it is no secret that the NLL and its teams’ financial situations are not on par with the NBA or NHL. The NLL may have owners who will be fine, but the league is vulnerable to any kind of revenue loss. We can only hope that it is minimal, at best.
Will The Offseason Be Impacted?
Depending on how long this suspension goes on for, the offseason calendar could be impacted. While Free Agency and the NLL Draft will likely not be impacted since they are much later, there could be other offseason league plans that get hit by this suspension.
Earlier this week the NFL cancelled their annual meeting. The NLL has meetings over the offseason, including meetings with their owners, and things of that nature could be impacted if the season is still being played late into June or early-July. Also, any major announcements could get pushed back, as well.
For more information how what the NLL is doing to combat this Coronavirus outbreak check out the Lacrosse Flash’s most recent interview with Nick Sakiewicz.