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Lacrosse Star Paul Rabil: I'm 'Risking Everything' to Change the Sport Many have tried to launch a new sports league. Few have succeeded. But that hasn't discouraged the star, who's trying to revolutionize his sport by competing against the league he once played for.

By Patrick Carone

This story appears in the June 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Courtesy of Premier Lacrosse League

Lacrosse may not be the most popular sport in America, but this summer it may beat everyone else out for sheer business drama. The sport has been dominated since 2001 by an organization called Major League Lacrosse (MLL), and its most famous player was Paul Rabil. But Rabil was frustrated with his old league. So he hung up his cleats and, along with his brother Mike, decided to launch a competitor. Their new Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) kicks off on June 1, with games airing all summer long on NBC. They poached many of MLL's greatest players and are pursuing a totally new approach to teams: Rather than have teams based in cities, the way MLL (and most major pro sports leagues) does, PLL's six teams have no local identities. Instead, they'll all tour the country together -- arriving as a group in one city, playing each other, and then moving on. Rabil knows he's up against a lot -- but with the backing of investors, and nationwide exposure, he's plotting a big future for his up-and-coming company … and his sport.

Related: Chris Paul: 'I Had $151 in My Bank Account When I Declared for the NBA'

Where did your love of lacrosse begin?

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