The inaugural Premier Lacrosse League All-Star Game will be played Sunday at Banc of California Stadium with league CEO Mike Rabil looking “forward to bringing some of the biggest faces in sports and entertainment out to the game.”
Jim Brown, a member of the pro and college football and national lacrosse halls of fame, is among those expected to attend, according to Julian Galano, the league’s manager of public relations and marketing.
The league’s MVP award is named for Brown, who was a second-team All-American selection in 1956 and a first-team selection in 1957 at Syracuse University, when he was second in the nation in scoring and scored five goals in the first half of the Collegiate North/South All-Star game.
Brown works closely with the league’s leadership team and is an advocate for its charitable PLL Assists program that supports local philanthropic initiatives catered to increasing lacrosse accessibility, supporting veterans and aiding cancer research, Galano said.
Los Angeles was chosen as the site for the game in part because “the sport has grown exponentially in Southern California over the last 15-20 years in terms of participation and viewership,” Rabil told City News Service.
That was also the reason El Segundo was chosen as the site for the league’s headquarters, said Rabil, one of the league’s co-founders.
Another factor was to attempt to increase the chances of lacrosse being added to the program for the 2028 Olympics, which will be held in Los Angeles, Rabil said.
After settling on Los Angeles as the site for the game, league officials “vetted numerous facilities in the Southern California region” and were “blown away” by the 22,000-seat Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park “when we first saw it,” Rabil said.
“It’s sleek, modern, comfortable, and the seats are so close to the pitch that it will give a great vantage point to the best lacrosse players in the world,” said Rabil, whose brother Paul, also a league co-founder and its chief strategy officer, will play for Team Baptiste in Sunday’s All-Star Game.
The PLL began play in June. The league consists of six teams playing in a tour-based model stopping in 12 U.S. cities and Hamilton, Ontario in 14 weeks.
The league is backed by an investment group comprised of Creative Artists Agency, Blum Capital, the San Francisco-based investment management firm chaired by Richard Blum, the husband of California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, The Chernin Group and The Raine Group.
Compensation for players includes stock options in the league, unprecedented in professional sports. The league’s games are streamed on NBC Sports Gold and shown on cable’s NBC Sports Network, which will carry the All-Star Game, and NBC.
“The season has been a tremendous success for us so far,” Rabil said. “The on-field competition has been first class and fans have been coming out to finally see meaningful, high-stakes pro lacrosse action.
“Business continues to expand by the day — whether its engaged fans attending games in person or the wide array of partners that have joined the family — Cascade/Maverik, STX, Bumble, Adidas, and Capital One) — just to name a few, with a few more to come. ”