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When it comes to fast-paced contact sports, lacrosse is the king of spring in terms of fan interest and media coverage.
But lacrosse could soon be facing some stiff competition.
Several former Madison Square Garden executives, including longtime MSG chief financial officer Robert Pollichino have announced they are planning on launching the Spring League of American Football.
The league, scheduled to debut in 2018, is expected to be made up of 10 teams playing 10-game schedules, not including the playoffs. Teams will be set up by territories (shown above) with players on each team made up of former college players from those specific areas. For a breakdown of territories and the college programs they will draw from, click here.
Michael Lardner, a longtime broadcast media executive, joins Pollichino as co-president of the league. Lardner’s brother, Rex Lardner, now a managing editor for two Florida-based football publications, is a consultant for the league.
“We all know that content is king, and the creation of a compelling football product in the time of year when the NFL is not playing and the fans are looking for even more live action is more real than ever before, according to the survey we have assembled,” Michael Lardner said. “We have taken all the steps to find the right balance financially and content wise and are now ready to present the fully baked plan to a business audience that has been clamoring for such an opportunity.”
The league says research it has done reveals 83 percent of men age 18 to 34 “would make every effort” to watch SLAF games. You can see that research here.
The SLAF could threaten the amount of television exposure college lacrosse and the MLL now enjoy, presenting fans and viewers with the only viable spring action for a fast-paced contact sport.
But several hurdles remain for the SLAF, including securing owners for the planned 10 teams, as well as additional investors, and then, television contracts.
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