"The support here for the sport is very strong, so...

"The support here for the sport is very strong, so I think it's a natural fit for the PLL,'' Seth Tierney said. Credit: PLL

The Premier Lacrosse League will be returning to Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium this summer, the league announced Tuesday. Hofstra will host two doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday, June 17 and 18.

The league visited Long Island, and Hofstra, for the first time last summer. Prior to that, Shuart Stadium had served as the home venue for the Lizards of Major League Lacrosse. After PLL and MLL merged following the 2020 seasons, the barnstorming league brought its eight teams to Hofstra in 2021 on Fourth of July weekend.

Hofstra men’s lacrosse coach Seth Tierney, who also works in an advisory role with PLL, said having the league visit Long Island makes perfect sense.

"The support here for the sport is very strong, so I think it’s a natural fit for the PLL,’’ Tierney told Newsday. "Last year, the weekend was Fourth of July weekend. The weather wasn’t great, and the people still came out in droves and supported all the games. They sat in the rain; they were buying stuff from the merchandise tent; they were loud, and it was just a great atmosphere. I can only imagine what it could be on a warm summer night, here on Long Island, and seeing all those kids out there and all the lacrosse fans, bringing the best of lacrosse right into their backyard.’’

Tom Schreiber, a star midfielder for Archers LC, is one of more than 30 Long Islanders who play in the PLL, roughly a third of the league’s player population. A native of East Meadow and a product of St. Anthony’s High School, Schreiber said he went to "a million games’’ at Hofstra while he was growing up.

"I think it’s a nice fit for a place that has such an affinity for lacrosse to have the highest level being brought to the Island,’’ Schreiber said. "And I think Hofstra’s a great venue for it. I think it’s just a natural fit, and I think the fans enjoyed it last summer. And hopefully we come back every year.’’

The league on Tuesday announced the first six weeks of its 2022 schedule. The season begins June 4-5 in Albany, moves to Charlotte, North Carolina, on June 10-11, then Hofstra, then Baltimore on June 24-25 and Minneapolis on July 1-2. The All-Star Game will be July 16 in Boston. The remainder of the schedule will be announced later.

Paul Rabil, who co-founded the PLL with his brother, Mike, in 2018, set the all-time professional outdoor lacrosse scoring record in last summer’s games at Hofstra. He retired as a player after the 2021 season and now is focusing his energies on strictly being the league’s president. He said the league is "ahead of where we thought it would be,’’ heading into Year Four of its existence.

In the first three years, the league expanded twice, from six teams in 2019, to seven in 2020, to eight, with its absorption of MLL, in 2021. And Rabil said one of the ‘’silver linings’’ of the COVID-19 pandemic was that the 2020 shutdown created something of a "sports reset, globally,’’ which may have helped PLL gain "market share’’ of the sports viewing audience.

In December, the PLL announced a new player compensation structure that would include granting players free agency after the conclusion of the 2022 season. That will give players more control of player movement while also giving teams flexibility to improve their rosters, Rabil said.

"With three seasons behind us, and teams have taken their own shape and identity, this is the next logical step,’’ he said.

Rabil also said the league will soon announce a new television/streaming deal for 2022, now that the league’s first television contract, with NBC and NBC Sports, has expired.

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