(New York City)?The purchase price for a National Lacrosse League expansion club has been increased to Three Million Dollars from One Million Dollars, U.S., effective immediately. The decision was made in a unanimous vote by the League?s Board of Governors.
The League?s growing popularity, increased television presence and plans to expand onto the West Coast of the United States for 2003 has led to a steady increase in franchise value.
In the past three seasons, expansion team prices have steadily increased from $250,000 to the current price of $3,000.000. Under the leadership of Commissioner Jim Jennings, four expansion clubs have been purchased, bringing the League?s membership to a total of thirteen. Jennings was appointed Commissioner in October of 2000.
?The vote shows the confidence that our Board of Governors have in the future of the NLL,? said Jennings. ?We will continue to expand into the prime markets of the United States and Canada, in a way that will increase our recognition across North America and bring value to our fans and teams.?
The National Lacrosse League is North America's top professional indoor lacrosse league. The NLL plays a sixteen-game regular season schedule in thirteen of North America's top markets. The League's membership consists of the Philadelphia Wings, Toronto Rock, New York Saints, New Jersey Storm, Washington Power, Buffalo Bandits, Montreal Express, Vancouver Ravens, Ottawa Rebel, Calgary Roughnecks, Rochester Knighthawks, Albany Attack and the Columbus Landsharks.
The teams of the NLL play in the same state-of-the-art facilities used by the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association. The regular season runs from November until April, with each team playing eight home games, all on the weekends. The League's average attendance for the 2001-2002 season was close to 8,000 fans per game. During the season, the Toronto Rock drew two crowds of nearly 19,000 fans to the Air Canada Centre. The Toronto Rock and the Philadelphia Wings routinely draw crowds of more than 15,000 fans to their home games. The expansion Vancouver Ravens drew two crowds of more than 12,000 fans to General Motors Place.
The League has national television contracts with the CNN/Sports Illustrated Network and HD Net in the United States, and Sportsnet in Canada.