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Friday, January 21, 2011

It's Official - MLL Adds Two!

Just over a month ago we found out that Major League Lacrosse planned to add two more teams beginning next season (2012). The league sent a broadcast announcement email within the last hour confirming that the expansion cities have been chosen:
Major League Lacrosse To Expand in 2012
Two New Teams To Be Added
BOSTON, MA - January 21, 2011 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, today announced that two new teams will be added to the league in the 2012 season. The two new teams will be located in Charlotte, North Carolina and Columbus, Ohio.

In addition, MLL Commissioner David Gross announced that beginning in 2012 each of the league's teams will be playing a 14 game schedule, an increase from the current 12 game schedule.

More details will be coming soon.
Columbus has been a target of the league for a while. Various events have been held at Crew Stadium throughout the league's history. The Machine played a "home" game there last year to further test the market. Although nothing has been said of the owners or venue, Crew Stadium seems to be the logical place meaning the owners are somehow connected to Hunt Sports Group, if not HSG themselves. HSG was a founding partner of Major League Soccer. In addition to the Crew and Crew Stadium, HSG owns FC Dallas and the Kansas City Chiefs (NFL).
Charlotte was a no-brainer as well. With lax consistently gaining popularity in North Carolina, plopping a pro franchise in the state just makes sense. NC has two major population areas - Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham. With two NCAA DI powerhouse programs already in RD (North Carolina and Duke), Charlotte seems more hungry for top level lacrosse. The availability of pro players may help bridge the gap in quality between the Queen City and the Research Triangle. You may recall that I previously mentioned Charlotte as an ideal expansion location.

Tribe 7