The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) announced on Tuesday, November 14 that its Waterdogs franchise will be relocating to Philadelphia as part of an eight-team professional league.
The Waterdogs joined the league in 2020 as an expansion team. They won the championship in 2022 and made it back to the title game in 2023.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, several factors led to the PLL’s decision, including viewership data, venue fit, youth/college interest in lacrosse, fan input online, other pro sports teams, and pro lacrosse performance.
“Philadelphia was a pretty easy decision for us,” Paul Rabil, co-founder of the PLL told The Inquirer. “They have PLL fans that are among the largest in population within our database, and even third-party data in lacrosse points to the not only growing but substantive lacrosse participant in the great state of Pennsylvania.”
According to PhillyLacrosse.com, the PLL will adopt a two-conference structure in 2024. The New York Atlas, Boston Cannons, Philadelphia Waterdogs, and Maryland Whipsnakes will make up the Eastern Conference. The Utah Archers, Carolina Chaos, Denver Outlaws, and California Redwoods will make up the Western Conference. The PLL All-Star Game to feature a conference-based matchup for the first time, and a new conference playoff structure to be announced soon.
The Waterdogs will also showcase the talents of Dresher native and Upper Dublin standout Michael Sowers, who was named the 2022 PLL championship game MVP. James Reilly (Conestoga High School), Chris Sabia (The Haverford School), and Jack Traynor (Malvern Prep) are among other locals on the team.
For the full story by The Inquirer, you can click here.