By Sam Gest | 6/5/13 2:00 PM
This weekend’s Major League Lacrosse action features two games that will be played in venues new to the MLL. On Thursday, the New York Lizards will face off against the Chesapeake Bayhawks on Randall’s Island in New York City before the Boston Cannons and Rochester Rattlers travel to Atlanta for a Friday night game.
Thursday’s game will get under way at 7:00 pm in Carl Icahn Stadium, and will be the first MLL game played in New York City in league history. After changing the team’s name in December of 2012, this is another effort for the team to rebrand the Lizards as a true New York team and extend its regional footprint. The Lizards will also host the Hamilton Nationals in Icahn Stadium the following week, on Thursday, May 13
“It’s great that the Lizards organization is expanding the reach of their brand,” said MLL Commissioner David Gross, “and playing in New York City is a great way to do that.”
Friday’s matchup between the Cannons and the Rattlers will take place in KSU Stadium on the campus of Kennesaw State University, and will mark the first MLL game played in the state of Georgia. This game, coupled with the week one matchup between the Rattlers and the Chesapeake Bayhawks in Tampa, Florida, will serve as a test for the league as it looks at possible expansion in the future.
“We love KSU Stadium as a venue,” stated Gross, “it’s an ideal MLL stadium, and we hope to replicate it throughout the country.”
The June 22 tilt between the Rattlers and the Hamilton Nationals at Geo Group Stadium at FAU in Boca, Florida will be another game with expansion implications for the league.
The game at Kennesaw State is being supported by the Atlanta Sports Council and LB3, a local lacrosse club operated by former MLL players Liam Banks and Brian Silcott. Both organizations see lacrosse as an emerging sport in the area, and see the game as an opportunity to expose the community to the high level lacrosse that the MLL offers. LB3 will also be organizing events around the event, including their Summer Jam Tournament.
“We haven’t hidden the fact that we want to expand,” said Gross, “and these games will give us a good idea as to how close we are to accomplishing that.