The NLL expands to San Diego and returns to Philadelphia!
So the big news of the last few weeks in the lacrosse community is the NLL (National Lacrosse League) is returning to Philadelphia and is having an expansion team in San Diego. The NLL recipe for success so far has been much greater than that of its outdoor counterpart in the MLL (Major League Lacrosse). Here are my thoughts about how much better the NLL is compared to the MLL.
NLL expands to San Diego
Back in the day, the National Lacrosse League expanded to California with teams such as the Anaheim Storm. The franchise failed even with brand names such as Casey Powell headlining the roster. The west coast lacrosse community was just in its infancy at the time and I believe was not ready to digest indoor lacrosse. The move back to the west coast now is a smart business move. The quality of lacrosse is increasing as programs like the University of Denver and the University of Utah are showcasing what quality lacrosse looks like to the youths of that region. The success of the Colorado Mammoth franchise shows you that people out west will come out in droves to watch to their hometown boys battle it out on a Saturday night. My only concern is that San Diego has notoriously been a bad sports city for example; San Diego Chargers… Can this city manage to hold the team? Only time will tell. But it shows you that the NLL is putting on their thinking hats and making great decisions regarding the league. Unlike the MLL, who wants to look at locations to fill 15,000 outdoor stadiums while drawing close to 4,000 a game average in 2017 (Dallas). San Diego does not have a huge hockey arena, I believe they will play in the ECHL’s San Diego Gulls arena (not sure if that is a real team) which means they have the potential to sell out the place on a given night and which looks better on tv.
NLL returns to Philly!
Another great move by the NLL, bring back the Philadelphia Wings! I think they left because of management issues more so that attendance issues. The solution is being backed by Comcast which is awesome because I’m sure games will be played on local television. The Wings were always a great team to watch. They featured a mostly American roster and peppered in a few stars such as Brodie Merrill and Kevin Crowley every now and then. With the move to New England, the Black Wolves currently sport mostly a Canadian roster. I believe the move back to Philly will bring back a lot of players with Indoor experience that are currently putting a lot of their chips into Major League Lacrosse. It’ll make it easier for stars that are working on Wall Street to take a 2-hour drive down 1-95 to Philly instead of taking a long flight to Edmonton. This is another situation the MLL messed up. Philadelphia is a great sports city. I’m sure Bostonians and New Yorkers cringe at that statement. They supported the Wings and Barrage. The MLL dissolved the Barrage by taking them on that tour around the country during one of summers. Bring back the Barrage! We would love to see a Bayhawk or Lizard rivalry game again! In conclusion, the National Lacrosse League is taking steps in the right direction while the Major League Lacrosse is going backward. Only time will tell where the fans will rather spend their money