The San Diego Seals hoped to start a shortened National Lacrosse League season in April. Alas, that’s not going to happen.
The NLL has decided to cancel the abbreviated 2021 schedule due to lingering challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The biggest issue is travel between the United States and Canada.
Five of the league’s 13 clubs are located north of the border. Travel restrictions instituted by the Canadian government, where anyone entering the country is subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine, ultimately made completing a season, even in a bubble format, impossible.
The league will now focus on a full 2021-22 season starting in the fall, hopefully with fans able to attend. The Seals want their fans to know there is no thought of them, or the league, ceasing operations permanently.
“I know we’re committed to it. I know our owner Joe Tsai is committed to it. This team is not going anywhere,” says Seals President Steve Govett.
In fact, Govett sees a silver lining for indoor lacrosse during these challenging times.
“I would tell you that we’re prepared to double down on our efforts in San Diego and beyond,” says Govett. “This is our opportunity to get it right and come back in a way that is … Seals 2.0 is kind of how we’re approaching this. When you’ve sat out this long another couple of months isn’t going to matter. We’re gonna get it right and come back even stronger.”
That includes working to secure a more lucrative national TV contract to help the league’s financial stability. Whenever they can start playing again the Seals are expected to be favorites for a National Lacrosse League championship.