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National Lacrosse League, players end labor impasse

The National Lacrosse League and the Buffalo Bandits will have a 2018-19 season, with the league and the Professional Lacrosse Players Association agreeing to the terms of a five-year deal late Friday.

The players ratified the deal Saturday night.

The league had already canceled the first two week of the regular season, which was scheduled to begin Dec. 1. In a statement, the league said details would be forthcoming on when training camps and the season would get underway. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We appreciate the efforts of the negotiating committee and their tireless dedication to reaching a fair and equitable agreement for both the NLL and the players. This agreement has created a clear path for incremental growth, not just for the players and the existing clubs, but for the sport of lacrosse as well.  Thank you also to the fans and the players for your patience as we worked through this situation,” commissioner Nick Sakiewicz said in a statement.

In a tweet, the players association said, "PLPA members have by majority vote ratified the tentatively approved deal reached by the PLPA & NLL. We thank the Player Reps for their commitment & their fellow Players for supporting the Exec. Committee during these negotiations. Thanks fans for your support! "

The sides signed a seven-year agreement in late 2013, but it included an opt-out clause for either side after four years, with one year notice. The players opted out early last season.

The league offered a seven-year deal that the players rejected, but the union offered to play under the proposed terms with some modifications for one year in order for the season to start and the sides to have another year to negotiate a longer agreement. The league rejected that effort.

That led to the cancellation of the first two weeks and another round of negotiations. The sides got closer with a tentative agreement reached Friday.

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