We made the trip over to Gillette Stadium on Saturday to check out the Premier Lacrosse League’s inaugural games. The day saw two PLL match-ups:
Game 1: Chrome LC vs Archers LC
Game 2: CHAOS LC vs Whipsnakes LC
As UAlbany fans, we were rooting for Chrome in the first game, as the team includes Great Dane alums Ty Thompson and Brett Queener; and CHAOS LC in the second game, featuring former Albany stars Connor Fields, Blaze Riorden, Miles Thompson, Kyle Mc Clancy, and Troy Reh. Joe Resetarits did not dress for CHAOS, with sources reporting that he is recovering from injury suffered during the NLL season.
While the two teams that we were cheering for each lost in overtime, we had a great time, watching some fast paced lacrosse nonetheless. A few thoughts and observations from our trip to Foxborough:
Venue – Attending a game in an NFL stadium comes with all the bells and whistles that you would expect. However, as soon as we took our seats we agreed that the atmosphere for the Albany tour stop will be amazing in comparison. Sure Gillette has all of the amenities, but the games were being played in a mostly empty stadium. In Albany, we can anticipate a sell-out crowd, with the fans much closer to the field at Tom and Mary Casey Stadium on the UAlbany campus. Additionally, school will be back in session for the Albany dates, so it will truly be a home game for CHAOS LC. In particular, Connor Fields, Troy Reh, and Kyle Mc Clancy still have former teammates and classmates enrolled at UAlbany. In addition to opening weekend, and the Albany tour stop, I plan to attend the September 14th playoff date at Redbull Arena, so I’ll have a feel for PLL atmosphere in three different sized venues.
Operations– A couple of recommendations for the PLL. First, when the Chrome or CHAOS are wearing black, it would benefit the spectators if the referees had an alternate jersey. During the action, it was easy to mistake a black clad official for a player in a jersey of the same color. On more than one clear, I expected an outlet pass to someone I then identified as an on field official. If one of the teams is wearing black, give the refs neon green jerseys or something.
Second, add the players’ numbers to the front of their jerseys. They can be smaller numbers, and could be off set below the logos, but they would definitely be helpful in identifying those involved in a play. On the topic of jerseys, the font used for the Chrome was sometimes difficult to make out from the stands. Ty Thompson’s 91 could be mistaken for a 41.
Merchandise – There seemed to be some great stuff available, but I’d love to see a wider selection of jerseys for sale at the tour stops (Connor Fields please!!!). I would also recommend that game programs be sold at additional locations besides the big merchandise tents. I used the free app to view the PLL ROSTERS, etc, but didn’t want to wait in the merch line for a program.
Lacrosse – The games were really enjoyable, and given that both went to OT they were clearly quite competitive. While I haven’t seen discussion about it, it definitely seems that the league allows more physical play than we see in the college game. There were some missed passes and ground balls, but as the tour proceeds and the teams continue to gel, we can expect cleaner and even faster play. Following find the highlights from Saturday’s games.
Chrome LC vs Archers LC
CHAOS LC vs Whipsnakes LC
Next Stop NYC (well actually NJ)
RED BULL ARENA
|June 8||1 p.m.||Whipsnakes at Chrome||NBCSG|
|June 8||4 p.m.||Redwoods at Archers||NBCSN|
|June 9||2 p.m.||Chaos at Atlas||NBC|
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