Howdy Fort Worth: National Lacrosse League adds 14th Franchise for 2021 season.
Fort Worth, Texas, July 22, 2020 – The National Lacrosse League, premier indoor lacrosse league in the world and the longest consecutively running professional lacrosse league in the world, will make its first expansion into one of the biggest states in the United States for the 2021-22 season. The yet to be named franchise will be under the stewardship of Bill Cameron, part owner of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder and lead owner of the WNBA’s Dallas Wings along with Greg Bibb who is Cameron’s partner with the Dallas Wings franchise. In the 34 year history of the NLL, this is the first franchise ever to be placed in the State of Texas. It is also the first new announcement of an expansion franchise for men’s professional sports in 2020. The National Women’s Soccer League has had two with Racing Louisville FC and Angel City FC, but the last men’s league to announce expansion was Major League Soccer in October 2019 when they said Sacramento Republic would jump from USL to the MLS. “We welcome Fort Worth as our 14th team and are excited to be working with a first-class organization led by Bill Cameron, Greg Bibb and the leadership at Dickies Arena, one of the premier state-of-the art facilities in the United States,” NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz said. “Greg’s accomplishments with the WNBA’s Dallas Wings, one of the greatest business success stories in professional sports in North America, and a Fort Worth fan base who craves what we provide — fun-filled nonstop action — will make this franchise a must see and must follow, not only for fans in the area around Fort Worth, but for the global sports business community, and all those with a passion for lacrosse. All the pieces we look for in a new partner are in place and we have already begun assisting with the ramp up to the opener 18 months from now.” “As we look to expand our sports business portfolio the National Lacrosse League, and the model Nick and his team have created in the past few years, is a perfect fit,” Bibb said. “We wanted a growing sport that is on the rise and that fans can engage with, not just at the arena but at the grassroots level, and one that understands the value of the digital native fans and how brands can engage in these fluid times. The NLL checked all those boxes, and we can’t wait to bring this new franchise to the fans in greater Fort Worth.” The new Fort Worth franchise will call the 2019 opened 14,000 seat Dickies Arena home, the arena is the annual host of the Forth Worth Stock Show and will also host the 2021 and 2022 American Athletic Conference Basketball Championships and a round of the Men’s Basketball NCAA Tournament in 2022. “Fort Worth is a world-class sports destination and we are excited to welcome the National Lacrosse League franchise to our community and our spectacular new Dickies Arena,” added Jason Sands, Director, Fort Worth Sports Commission. As per the NLL and the ownership group, The Fort Worth team name, logo, and colors will be announced later this year.
NLL Fort Worth follows the successful expansion of the league in 2018 into Long Island, New York with the New York Riptide and Halifax, Nova Scotia with the Halifax Thunderbirds, who relocated from Rochester, New York and were replaced in Rochester by a new Knighthawks team owned by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, the owners of the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills. Those teams began play in the 2019-2020 season that was shortened due to COVID-19.
Dates for the 2020 NLL Draft and other key information regarding the start of the 35th NLL season will be announced later this year.