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Thread: National Lacrosse League could return to Edmonton as soon as 2018

  1. #1
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    Default National Lacrosse League could return to Edmonton as soon as 2018

    http://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/c...s-soon-as-2018
    National Lacrosse League could return to Edmonton as soon as 2018

    There’s no rush, but professional lacrosse could be back in Edmonton by 2018.

    The National Lacrosse League is seeking to expand by at least one and as many as four teams that season, and the Oilers Entertainment Group is interested in discussing the possibility of owning a franchise that would call Rogers Place home.

    The nine-team league already has franchises in Calgary, Vancouver and Saskatoon, where Edmonton’s former team, the Rush, now resides. The Rush, owned by Bruce Urban, played in Rexall Place for 10 seasons, beginning in 2006.

    “We’ve had some interesting conversations and look forward to talking more about bringing lacrosse to Edmonton,” said OEG vice-president Tim Shipton. “It’s interesting. It’s not a done deal, that’s for sure. The conversations have been positive. It always comes down to the details. But there is interest there.”

    And it’s on both sides of the equation. NLL commissioner Nick Sakiewicz toured Rogers Place and Ice District last Friday, en route to a Roughnecks game in Calgary. He came away impressed and excited about a potential return of the league to Edmonton.

    “In one way, I’m sorry that the Rush left,” said Sakiewicz. “But I’m excited for Saskatoon because they have a terrific team and a good thing going there and I hope Edmonton is an opportunity for us down the road. We would love to be there.

    “My vision for the league is to bring more Calgary-like ownership groups into the league. Buffalo, Calgary and Denver are three flagship franchises in terms of the way they operate the model. They have the NHL back office and NHL leverage. I think it’s a great model.

    “My No. 1 priority is to talk to NHL teams and NBA teams that have venues that need programming, because it’s great programming. It’s a great product. We don’t have a product problem, for sure. We have a distribution problem.”
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  2. #2

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    Not a surprising conversation, not likely a surprising outcome, but I'll be glad for the return of an alternative.

    Not that I get out to a lot of games of any sport anyways, personally, but more going on is always good.
    Let's make Edmonton better.

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    Yeah, well, gotta fill the schedule in the new building I suppose. Starting to remind me of Pocklington in the mid-90's, like when he wouldn't let the Edmonton Ice play at the Coliseum and banished them to the Agricom.

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    Nice, but I would have preferred Katz just buying the championship team we had instead of us starting from square one once again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGD View Post
    Yeah, well, gotta fill the schedule in the new building I suppose. Starting to remind me of Pocklington in the mid-90's, like when he wouldn't let the Edmonton Ice play at the Coliseum and banished them to the Agricom.
    How does this in any way compare to Pocklington? He offered to buy the Rush, Urban said no and picked up his ball and went to Saskatoon.

    I enjoyed going to lacrosse games and hope he brings it back soon. I Katz loses the monster truck/wrestling vibe that it had when Urban ran the show, it was not run very well under his ownership.

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    I can see the NLL wanting in to this market and Rogers, but its a bushleague dying circuit in desperate need of teams. Reduced to playing in markets like Saskatoon.

    NLL is a league that loses franchises or has relocations every season and is now reduced to 9 teams. Only 4 teams in the league average over 10K and one of those being the novelty Saskatchewan team and that groundswell of civic support probably won't last. Even a Championship club here in Edmonton had trouble getting 8K out to games.

    Vancouver averaging 3K fans, New England 4K, Georgia, 5K. Few people care about this done product.
    Only Colorado and Buffalo keep this league afloat. Not sure why this is considered a big thing in those locations.
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    New formula could help National Lacrosse League avoid Edmonton Rush, Version 2
    http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/ho...rush-version-2

    Interesting note in this article: the Rush franchise is now at its 4th location! Was previously in Syracuse and Ottawa. I did not know that.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    ...
    Vancouver averaging 3K fans, New England 4K, Georgia, 5K. Few people care about this done product.
    Only Colorado and Buffalo keep this league afloat. Not sure why this is considered a big thing in those locations.
    Assuming you didn't read the article:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    http://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/c...s-soon-as-2018
    ...

    “My vision for the league is to bring more Calgary-like ownership groups into the league. Buffalo, Calgary and Denver are three flagship franchises in terms of the way they operate the model. They have the NHL back office and NHL leverage. I think it’s a great model.

    “My No. 1 priority is to talk to NHL teams and NBA teams that have venues that need programming, because it’s great programming. It’s a great product. We don’t have a product problem, for sure. We have a distribution problem.”
    Not sure why you omitted Calgary, but all three of the top three and zero of the other six lacrosse franchises are owned and cross-promoted by NHL teams. The NLL has figured it out, and is on it, and is exactly why they want the OEG to bring it back to Edmonton.

    This is essentially how the NBA was founded as well, by NHL arena/team owners that wanted more events.
    Let's make Edmonton better.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    ...
    Vancouver averaging 3K fans, New England 4K, Georgia, 5K. Few people care about this done product.
    Only Colorado and Buffalo keep this league afloat. Not sure why this is considered a big thing in those locations.
    Assuming you didn't read the article:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    http://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/c...s-soon-as-2018
    ...

    “My vision for the league is to bring more Calgary-like ownership groups into the league. Buffalo, Calgary and Denver are three flagship franchises in terms of the way they operate the model. They have the NHL back office and NHL leverage. I think it’s a great model.

    “My No. 1 priority is to talk to NHL teams and NBA teams that have venues that need programming, because it’s great programming. It’s a great product. We don’t have a product problem, for sure. We have a distribution problem.”
    Not sure why you omitted Calgary, but all three of the top three and zero of the other six lacrosse franchises are owned and cross-promoted by NHL teams. The NLL has figured it out, and is on it, and is exactly why they want the OEG to bring it back to Edmonton.

    This is essentially how the NBA was founded as well, by NHL arena/team owners that wanted more events.
    With all due respect Jaybee the NLL hasn't "figured it out" this is the model it had been trying to use for years surfing on the backs of NHL or NBA owners in their buildings. At one point the NLL had something like 7 franchises that were somewhat successful in that model or successful anyway. That's been whittled down to 3 if you include Calgary. But Calgary and Toronto, which were formerly well attended NLL clubs have sub 10K attendance now. Keeping in mind we're talking about a league that has very few matches and very few gates. Theres several teams in the NLL league that get less tickets sold in a season than the Edmonton Eskimos have sold for 1 game. To put it into perspective.

    This is a floundering league as it usually has been. The decision to go into Vancouver again was desperate as that market has not worked out well at all. Afairc the NLL has had multiple attempts at Vancouver. Thing is they're running out of places to take their travelling sideshow. Saskatoon should be vivid illustration of that.

    Worse, the NLL has lost a lot of its share in the US as its instead gambled on trying to have a Canadian division. Theres not enough US markets and teams and they've lost their crucial impetus there.

    Lets be clear here as well. This is a league and sport who's proponents were saying was going to be bigger than the NHL not too long ago.

    Its a two bit league and product. Not sure why they would even want it at Rogers arena. Sure the NLL wants NHL support again, but why would NHL owners really care? We're talking maybe a seasonal gate of 60K fans

    A decade ago was the NLL's Halcyon moment. Figuring it was in the big leagues with 13 clubs and overall league gate of just over 1 million.

    http://nll_stats.stats.pointstreak.c...&seasonid=1322

    FF to today and they have 9, with half of those clubs in jeopardy and a league gate of 437,000. Not even half of what they had a decade ago. A dying league, as stated.

    NBA, lol. C'mon. The NBA puts the NHL to shame.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  10. #10

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    ^ which now defunct NLL teams were owned by NHL teams?

    And disposable income has collapsed in Calgary with their 8.6% unemployment and net negative in-migration? You don't say. NLL's fault, no doubt...

    The Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by owners of the major ice hockey arenas in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Canada. On November 1, 1946, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens, in a game the NBA now regards as the first played in its history.
    Source
    Let's make Edmonton better.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee View Post
    ^ which now defunct NLL teams were owned by NHL teams?

    And disposable income has collapsed in Calgary with their 8.6% unemployment and net negative in-migration? You don't say. NLL's fault, no doubt...

    The Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by owners of the major ice hockey arenas in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Canada. On November 1, 1946, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens, in a game the NBA now regards as the first played in its history.
    Source
    Your point conceded on the NBA thing. Did not know that. Thanks. I thought maybe you meant the ABA. I'm surprised NBA is so relatively new.

    As far as Calgary income and population those aren't even factors and you know it. NLL is not a pricy ticket. Its affordable, and such options usually actually become MORE attended in difficult economic times.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

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    ^ Maybe, maybe not, but regardless, all three NHL owned/promoted NLL franchises are now and always have been leading the NLL in attendance, which I do take as uncoincidental and would extrapolate to a hypothetical OEG team.

    Due to the location/access/adjacent hospitality, I wouldn't be surprised if an Edmonton franchise actually led the league, tbh.

    But take the NLL up to say 6 or 7 teams anchored by NHL/NBA teams, and I'd say it starts to become something.
    Let's make Edmonton better.

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    Dan Barnes: Next wave of National Lacrosse League expansion won't include Edmonton

    Dan Barnes, Edmonton Journal

    The National Lacrosse League, which just wrapped up a successful 2017 campaign, will be making more news this off-season by rolling out at least two, likely three, and possibly even four expansion franchises.

    Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz said they will all have National Hockey League and/or National Basketball Association ownership ties.

    But Edmonton, which lost its NLL franchise to Saskatoon, won’t be one of them.

    “They really wanted us to get in (on phase one of expansion) but we had to tell them we’re not ready,” said Oilers Entertainment Group chair Bob Nicholson. “We do want to make it part of our business, but not yet.”

    The NLL hasn’t added teams since 2007, and is taking a deliberate approach to expansion, seeking out NHL and NBA ownership groups because of their financial wherewithal, franchise management expertise and building access. The newest franchises will be announced this summer but won’t hit the floor until 2018-19.

    “Gone are the days when NLL teams launched in four months,” said the commissioner. “You need 12 to 18 months lead time to do it right.”

    A timeline for phase two of expansion hasn’t been set, but it could happen as early as 2020, as the NLL is intent on bumping membership from the current nine franchises to 14 or 16 after this phased-in approach to expansion. Longer-term, Sakiewicz envisions a 30-team league.
    http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/lo...clude-edmonton
    Last edited by Hilman; 13-06-2017 at 11:49 AM.

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    I hope we can get a lacrosse franchise. It's a great game, and I've enjoyed it since I was a kid.

    My Community League, North Glenora, had the Blues, coached by "Pops" Blunden. She was a great lacrosse coach(!), and the team regularly made it to the National level championships.

    But it's never going to be a marquee sport on the level of hockey, football, soccer (which I still call football), or basketball. That doesn't make it "bush league", which is a pejorative term.

    It's tough to make a go of it in a one or two sport town.

    Unfortunately one of "Pops" sons, Kelly Blunden (a huge Oilers fan) was killed while cycling by an extremely drunk driver on a suspended license, who crossed the centre line and killed two cyclists, plus the passenger in the car.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 13-06-2017 at 11:48 PM.
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