August 24, 2011

MLL Championship Weekend On As Planned; League Will Monitor Weather

by Corey McLaughlin | | Twitter

Barring unsafe or unplayable conditions that may arise from Hurricane Irene, Major League Lacrosse's Championship Weekend in Annapolis, Md., is expected to be played in its entirety this weekend, MLL commissioner David Gross said Wednesday.

Gross said the league is monitoring the weather – along with likely millions on the East Coast of the United States – to prepare for any contingencies if Irene's affects are strong enough to disrupt the schedule or create dangerous conditions for participants and spectators. The league has been in contact with television partner ESPN and operators of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, site of the weekend's games.

"Obviously, if we have full-bore hurricane, we'll be delayed, but these things move fairly quickly in and out of the region," Gross said on a conference call with reporters and television commentators. "We plan on getting all three games in this weekend. People should come. There's no reason not to. The games will get in."

As of Wednesday afternoon, it appeared that the storm, a Category 3 hurricane swirling in the Caribbean, could affect the Annapolis area Saturday night into Sunday.

Saturday's first semifinal between the Boston Cannons and homestanding Chesapeake Bayhawks is scheduled to start at noon. The second semifinal, between the Denver Outlaws and Hamilton Nationals will be at 3 p.m. The championship game is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday.

All those time hold as of Wednesday, although Gross said if game times need to be moved, they can be. The worst case scenario is that the championship game be played later Sunday or Sunday night.

On Wednesday afternoon, the likely track on put the eye of the storm just east of the Outer Banks in North Carolina sometime Saturday, and a little farther east of Ocean City, Md., as a Category 2 storm at 8 a.m. Sunday.

Fans and other interested parties are urged to check, and the league's social media platforms for updates if need be.

Most, if not all, players and coaches should be in town well before the storm. The four teams practice Friday at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Md. All practices are open to the public. Boston starts at 1 p.m., Denver at 2:30, Hamilton at 4, and Chesapeake at 5:30.

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