Major League Lacrosse announced today that South Florida is officially getting an MLL team for 2014. The speculation surrounding this move existed before the 2012 all-star game was played in Boca Raton, but that event, along subsequent successful events, cemented the league’s move to the Sunshine State.
The Florida Launch. That’s the new team name. Cape Canaveral is in Florida so it does make some sense, but at first glance it does kind of seem like a WNBA logo and mascot. The color scheme is pretty solid though, so maybe the uniforms will be really good.
More importantly than logos or uniforms, let’s talk players. The Launch will be getting all of the players who are currently on the Hamilton Nationals roster. What a gift! So what are the Nationals doing? Closing their doors for 2014. That’s right, folks! The Nationals are not moving to Florida. The Launch is a new team, with new owners, and the Nationals are closing their doors. The players all go to the Launch because the league says so. At least that’s how it seems to work.
Stan Ross has been named as the Head Coach, and he has three previous stints in Denver under his belt as an assistant coach. A home facility has not been named yet, but past events at FAU have done well. It will be interesting to see where the team ends up playing, as certain areas in South Florida are lacrosse heavy, while others lag.
It seems like concerns over heat, humidity, unpredictable Summer weather, and a smaller lacrosse community were not enough to scare the MLL away from South Florida. I am extremely curious to see if this new ownership group can make it work!
Good bye Hamilton Nationals… you will be missed.