The National Lacrosse League and its players union signed a seven-year contract that includes a luxury tax for the first time, Commissioner George Daniel said.
The payroll tax starts at 25 percent above $400,000 and escalates to 100 percent above $475,000, with the money redistributed to teams below the threshold, Daniel said in an e-mail. In return for the tax, the league agreed to free-agency expansion, he said.
The indoor league, founded in 1986, has teams in Buffalo, New York; Rochester, New York; Philadelphia, Minnesota and Colorado in the U.S., and Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver in Canada. Each team plays 18 games, two more than last season.
The average player base salary last season was $19,135. Rosters have been reduced to 20 players from 23.
The agreement lowers the qualifying age for unrestricted free agency to 30 from 32 and reduces the number of franchise designations per team to one from two. Players 34 years or older can reject the franchise designation, which can tie the player to the team.
Each side can also opt out of the contract after five years.
The deal contains an expanded playoff format, with the division finals and championship rounds two-game series instead of single elimination.
Teams can renegotiate and re-sign contracts of players on their rosters beginning today. The 2014 season begins on Dec. 28.
The Rochester Knighthawks have won the last two championships.
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