Today the National Lacrosse League formally announced the awarding of an expansion team to the city of Calgary. The team will begin play in the 2001-2002 season, and will call the Pengrowth Saddledome home. The new team will be owned by a group of local investors, led by Brad Banister and Kevin Melnyk. The yet to be named team will share the Saddledome with the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League and the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League. The announcement was made today by National Lacrosse League Commissioner Jim Jennings.
"We are excited to welcome Calgary to the NLL family," said Jennings. "Our league is growing, and Calgary is a world class city. The NLL is on its way to becoming a truly national league, and the addition of Calgary will help us reach our goal-to become North America's Fifth Major Professional Sport. The success of this franchise will play a significant role in our continued growth into the western areas of Canada and the United States."
"We are proud to be the newest member of this emerging league," said Brad Banister, leader of the local ownership group. "This team will make the fans of Calgary proud-we can hardly wait until the opening game in December."
"The Calgary Flames and the Pengrowth Saddledome are delighted to become the newest home site for the NLL," said Ron Bremner, President and CEO of the Calgary Flames and the Pengrowth Saddledome. "The great fans of Calgary and western Canada will rally around their new lacrosse team. The game has a lot of tradition throughout western Canada, and we are proud to be the first western city to join the NLL."