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NLL and PLPA reach deal on new Collective Bargaining Agreement

10/22/2013, 12:15pm CDT
By Alec Schimke

The NLL and PLPA announced a new seven-year deal on Tuesday

(New York, NY – October 22, 2013) The National Lacrosse League has announced that the league has reached an accord with the Professional Lacrosse Players' Association for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) through the 2020 NLL season.

Highlights of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement include modifications to the Free Agency system designed to increase free agency. The modifications include:
 
- Lowering of the qualifying age for Unrestricted Free Agency from 32 to 30 years old.
- Reduction of Franchise Designations per team from two to one.
- Ability for veteran players with ages 34 or older to reject Franchise Designation.
 
Other highlights of the CBA include:

Increase of regular season schedule from 16 to 18 games.

Expanded playoff format to include two-game series in the Divisional Finals and Championship rounds from previous single-game elimination format.

Luxury Tax system inclusive of player salaries, bonuses and promotional consideration.

Reduction of active rosters from 23 to 20 and increase of Practice Player rosters from three to four.

Most players’ base salaries minimum and maximum limits will remain unchanged for the first two years of the agreement.

“The new CBA will allow us to improve our business model,” said NLL Commissioner George Daniel. “This deal should foster a great era of growth for the league. I would like to thank everyone from both sides who worked on reaching this deal, but I would like to especially thank the players who participated in the bargaining sessions for their high level of professionalism during this process.”

"I too would like to thank all the players and advisers that participated in this process along with the GM’s, Owners and Commissioner Daniel at the table whom engaged in productive candid negotiation over the past 18 months," said PLPA President Peter Schmitz. "I applaud the players for their willingness to assist the clubs in stabilizing expenses for the next two years with the hopes that they and the league are rewarded with growth and  expanded awareness of our great sport. The non-economic gains afforded the players were a welcomed improvement to current conditions and will be appreciated for many years to come."

Swarm Owner and Governor John Arlotta added, “This new CBA is not only great for the league and our players, but it also helps stabilize our franchise since we now have a better idea of what our labor costs will be for an extended period of time.  Also, the implementation of a luxury tax on teams who exceed the salary cap will help insure competitive balance and provide an additional revenue stream for lower revenue franchises such as the Swarm.”

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement was executed by both parties on Monday and is effective immediately. The 2014 NLL regular season opens on Saturday, Dec. 28.

The Minnesota Swarm will open their 10th season of professional box lacrosse in the NLL on the road against the defending NLL champion Rochester Knighthawks at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 28.

The Swarm will make their home debut at The Hive on Sunday, Jan. 19 for a 2 p.m. matchup against the Philadelphia Wings at Xcel Energy Center. Swarm Season Tickets start as low as $19 per game and can be purchased by calling 1-888-667-9276 or visiting www.mnswarm.com

“Although the new CBA is great news for our franchise and the NLL, it is only one factor that will impact our financial situation in Minnesota, and we had already included the impact of this new CBA in our 2014 budget process," Arlotta said. "We still need to closely manage our other non player costs, and increase our revenues as well.  Since the life-blood of any professional sports franchise is its season ticket revenues, it is still critical that we strive to achieve our stated goal of 4,000 season ticket holders for the 2014 season.”

A list of key dates for player signings, free agency offers and signings along with training camp start dates for the upcoming season are listed below.

Key Dates
 
Oct. 22: Clubs are permitted to re-negotiate and re-sign contracts of players on their roster.
 
Oct. 29: Deadline for Qualified offers to Veteran players classified in section 7.1 of the C.B.A. Franchise Player designation due date.
 
Oct. 30: Free Agency Signing – Clubs are now permitted to contact, speak and sign Rostered Restricted Free Agents (RFA’s) and Rostered Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA’s) as per the League listing of said players. Clubs can sign non-rostered free agents (street free agents) and the previous seasons' practice players.
 
Nov. 8 – Dec. 22: Training Camps Period – for teams opening regular season on Dec. 28, 2013 (maximum of nine sessions, maximum of 40 players, includes exhibition games/scrimmages).
 
Nov. 15 – Dec. 29: Training Camps Period – for teams opening regular season on Jan. 3-4, 2014 (maximum of nine sessions, maximum of 40 players, includes exhibition games/scrimmages).
 
Dec. 12: Roster cut down to 20 players.
 
Dec. 28: 2014 NLL Regular Season begins.
 
March 18: NLL Trade Deadline (3 p.m. ET).
 
March 20: Trade Deadline Roster Submission (3 p.m. ET).
 
April 26: 2014 NLL Regular Season ends.
 
About the NLL:
The NationalLacrosse League (NLL) is North America's professional indoor lacrosse league featuring the best players in the world. Founded in 1987, the NLLranks third in average attendance for professional indoor sports worldwide behind only the NHL & NBA. The league is comprised of nine franchises: Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Edmonton Rush, Minnesota Swarm, Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, Toronto Rock and Vancouver Stealth. The 2014 NLL regular season opens on Saturday, Dec. 28. For more information, visit NLL.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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