It’s been a good year for Major League Lacrosse. With the recent expansion of the league, attendance numbers have been going up; major networks are taking interest in the league, and new lacrosse players around America are looking for more. So what is the MLL going to do about it?
Give them what they want. Slowly.
Will the MLL expand out to more parts of the country? They certainly should.
The success of the Charlotte Hounds should be screaming, “THE SOUTH LOVES LAX TOO”. The Hounds averaged 5,712 people per game. That’s the fourth highest attendance rate in the league. The newest team to enter the league has more people going to games than the Long Island Lizards. The best part is that the Hounds are from North Carolina! Who would have thought that Lacrosse would be so successful in the Tar Heel state?
The MLL is ready to grow again in 2014. But where should they go?
Some people are saying that they need to tap into the market out on the Pacific’s side of the country. The last LXMPRO Tour game held near Seattle, Washington had a good turnout, and their California events have been well attended and popular.
The MLL tried to establish themselves out West a couple of years ago with the San Francisco Dragons and the Los Angeles Riptide. Those two teams did well on the field, but still, they had to shut down. It was close, but just didn’t quite work. But that was years ago, and Lacrosse has grown in the West at a rapid pace. Going back there would be much better now that Lacrosse has really found its way out there.
NEW YORK CITY
I was talking to a sports writer the other day about rivals; then the thought about New York City and Boston always having a natural rivalry come into my head, “If all the other sports can do it, why not Lacrosse?” I was actually surprised that the Big Apple didn’t have a team; I mean it would fit the stereotype perfectly. New York City prep boys play Lacrosse, and more and more public and parochial schools are picking it up.
Some people would argue that the Long Island Lizards are a New York City team, but they are not. It’s hard to commute to the city, much less through it. If the home field, where LI played games, were closer to the city, it would provide better fruit. If the MLL were to move the Lizards closer or just make another team for the city, it would be one of the safest places to go.
If the MLL is thinking about expanding the game and not just the league, arguably the best place would be the second biggest state in the country. Texas. Why Texas? It doesn’t conflict with the major sport in that area, football. It’s perfect. Texans need a physical sport that has plenty of running and plenty of hustle. Lacrosse can give them that.
The most logical choice for the MLL would be in Florida… South Florida to be exact. Lacrosse has grown faster in Florida than anywhere else. The MLL went to Boca Raton for the 2012 All Star game and got an amazing turn out. The ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando hosts an abundance of Lacrosse games ranging from US Women’s Lacrosse to U-15 games. Lacrosse is alive on the college level as well with the five major colleges in Florida playing in the MCLA, and a growing number of NCAA programs as well.
The MLL has many excellent options for expansion, but right now they really don’t have to expand. It seems like they want to, and that the fans want them to, but it doesn’t have to happen. The only thing they have to do is go out for a nice dinner and celebrate, because the 2012 season was great. Then they can get back to work.