It’s the fans who are feeling this sting. The upcoming National Lacrosse League season has been canceled after the Professional Lacrosse Players Association’s executive committee rejected the latest collective bargaining agreement proposal, according to NLL commissioner Jim Jennings.
The deadline to reach an agreement was Monday.
“I would like to apologize to the fans who have supported the Arizona Sting for four seasons,” team president Douglas Moss said in a statement. “We are disappointed that we will not be playing in 2008, but plan to work diligently with the league and Professional Lacrosse Players Association to ensure we are back playing at Jobing.com Arena in January of 2009.”
The Arizona Sting went 9-7 last season and lost to the Rochester Nighthawks in the championship game. Sting players were not available for comment.
Jennings said the owners’ offer included annual raises for all players, and they made the best offer they could while keeping a sound business model.
He also said the players association rejected the proposal without permitting all of the players to vote on the league’s final offer.
“This marked the fourth time we have had to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement in the past seven years,” Jennings said in a statement. “Professional sports leagues cannot do business without the stability of a long-term collective bargaining agreement. We’ll use this year to improve not only our relationship with our players but to improve our overall business model.”
Sting coach and general manager Bob Hamley said the Sting would continue to provide youth camps and instructional clinics in the Valley.