NLL lacrosse is officially back in British Columbia after the Vancouver Stealth held their introductory press conference at the Langley Events Centre on Tuesday. (Photo: Dan Brodie)
The Vancouver Stealth officially introduced themselves to the Province during their introductory press conference at Langley Events Centre on Tuesday. The junket was in follow up to the announcement last week that the National Lacrosse League was coming back to the Greater Vancouver Area.
NLL Commissioner George Daniel was joined by media and the lacrosse community as the Stealth announced their plan for ticket sales while introducing the gathering to team ownership, management, coaching staff and a select group of players. Stealth ownership, led by Denise Watkins, discussed the team’s goals and vision while extending her excitement over the move to Vancouver.
“We want the fans to be as passionate about this team as I am,” said Watkins, who has owned the team since 2007 and acknowledged there will be work to do. "This is a great sport and a great team and our goal will be to entertain the fans on a nightly basis and integrate ourselves throughout the Lower Mainland and the Province.”
Commissioner Daniel was equally excited about the professional box lacrosse circuit taking up residence on the west coast of Canada.
"British Columbia is one of the great hotbeds of lacrosse and now thanks to Stealth owners Bill and Denise Watkins, the NLL is back in B.C. to stay," he said.
With the inclusion of Vancouver as one of the nine teams in the league, the NLL can now boast coast-to-coast representation in Canada (with the other three Canadian teams being Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto).
Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese noted the impact that having the team call the LEC home will have on the community and the surrounding areas.
“Having professional sports, the biggest stage in the world for lacrosse, playing out of the Langley Events Centre will be of tremendous benefit to the entire province of British Columbia,” Mayor Froese noted. "Not only will it provide some exciting sport, but restaurants, hotels, and other local destinations will be the benefactor.”
Ticket pricing was announced with season ticket prices for the nine game home schedule range from roughly $21-$42 per ticket per game (including all taxes and charges). Fans can reserve their season tickets starting at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, July 2 by calling (604) 455-8888 or by visiting the LEC Ticket Office. Single game tickets will be made available at a later date with ticket prices ranging from $27-$55 (including all taxes and charges).
“The goal is to create an environment that is both exciting and affordable,” said LEC Director of Business Development Jared Harman, who added that pricing was based on the costing used for the three previous NLL games hosted at the LEC as well as remaining competitive with other professional sports and entertainment options in Vancouver. "We have some fun ideas around different zones, such as the ‘Fox Hole’, as well as a focus on creating an electrifying game day experience that everyone will enjoy.”
On the turf, the Stealth look to continue the success they’ve enjoyed the past four years (the club has made it to the NLL Championship Game three of the past four years, including winning the NLL Champion's Cup in 2010).
Stealth president and general manager Doug Locker expects more of the same results in 2014 with some added pressure from being in a very knowledgeable lacrosse market.
“We return a veteran, talented team and our expectations heading into 2014 are very high,” Locker said. "Coming off of last year's final game appearance should provide a high degree of motivation heading into the season.”
The Stealth will continue to release more information in the coming months. Those interested in potential employment or volunteer opportunities are encouraged to contact the Langley Events Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone interested in being involved as a Stealth corporate sponsor, please contact the Langley Events Centre marketing department at (604) 882-8800. For more information on the team, please visit StealthLAX.com or follow them on Twitter at @StealthLax.