Author’s Note: As one who grew up 10 minutes from the Nassau Coliseum and still roots strongly for my beloved NY Islanders I’m glad to see the area get the franchise again!
The National Lacrosse League (NLL), the largest men’s professional indoor lacrosse league in North America, has announced expansion into the New York market under the ownership of live events and sports media entertainment company GF Sports and its affiliates (“GF Sports”). The team, which will begin play in 2019, will be the League’s 13thfranchise and play its home games at the newly renovated NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
“We are thrilled to welcome GF Sports, New York, and the great Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (NYCB LIVE) on Long Island to the National Lacrosse League. As our 13th franchise, New York and the entire Metropolitan region represents our biggest market to date. Lacrosse is no stranger to this area, and we are very excited that this ownership and franchise will fuel the growth opportunity we know already exists here,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “GF Sports is another quality ownership group for the NLL and we know they will bring unrivaled excitement to one of the world’s premier sports markets. New York not only aligns perfectly with our strategic plan to grow in the US, but also brings professional lacrosse back to a region that so many fans had wished for.”
The NLL New York team joins GF Sports’ growing portfolio of live sports and entertainment events staged in the New York metropolitan area at NYCB Live which also include the New York Open (February 9-17, 2019), an annual men’s professional ATP tournament, and the Longines Masters of New York (April 25-28, 2019), an annual premier equestrian showjumping event and part of the global Longines Masters Series. In addition, GF Sports owns and operates live events and sports properties in other markets including the Longines Masters of Paris, Longines Masters of Hong Kong, the BB&T Atlanta Open and its Wolf Pack Ninja asset, which produces ninja events globally.
“We are proud to bring an NLL franchise to the New York Metropolitan area, a region known for producing some of the greatest lacrosse players in the country and having some of the most avid lacrosse fans. With its rich history and state-of-the-art facilities, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum will serve as the perfect home for the return of professional lacrosse to New York in 2019,” said Gary Fuhrman, Managing Partner at GF Capital and Board Member of GF Sports. “We are impressed with and excited about the direction of the NLL under the leadership of Commissioner Sakiewicz, and look forward to partnering with the eleven other like-minded ownership groups committed to developing the sport on a global scale.”
Today the team announced the launch of a survey on their website (www.nllnewyork.com) seeking fan feedback on the team name. Participants who complete the survey will be entered for a chance to win season tickets to the team’s inaugural season. A special event will take place in early 2019 to announce the finalized team name, logo, and brand on Long Island, New York.
“We are thrilled to partner with the National Lacrosse League and GF Sports to bring a professional lacrosse team to NYCB LIVE and Long Island,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of BSE Global. “Long Island is widely considered one of the top lacrosse hot beds in the country and the addition of an indoor lacrosse team will help further diversify our programming while continuing to bring the community the events it desires.”
Home to some of the richest history in all of lacrosse, New York is the birthplace of current NLL stars like Tom Schreiber and the Thompson brothers, and tied to lacrosse royalty such as the Gait brothers and Cleveland Browns legend, Jim Brown. New York will mark the league’s fourth expansion franchise in the U.S. since August, 2017. Previous expansion announcements include San Diego, Philadelphia, Rochester, with an expansion market in Halifax.
NLL Faceoff Weekend begins this Saturday, December 15th, at 1pm ET on B/R Live as the Philadelphia Wings host the Buffalo Bandits in their inaugural game. All games throughout the 2018-19 season will be streamed live on B/R Live. The annual pass for the 2018-19 Season will cost $39.99 USD / $51.99 CAD. The monthly pass is $7.99 USD/ $9.99 CAD and a single game is $2.99 USD/ $3.99 CAD.
For more information on the incoming New York franchise, visit www.nllnewyork.com.
About the National Lacrosse League
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional indoor lacrosse league. Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA. The League is comprised of 12 franchises across the United States and Canada: Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, New England Black Wolves, Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, Vancouver Warriors, Halifax ’19 and New York ‘19. For more information, visit NLL.com and find the NLL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About GF Sports
GF Sports is a live events and sports media entertainment company created by New York-based private equity firm GF Capital Management & Advisors, LLC. Formed in July 2015, GF Sports owns two of the ATP World Tour’s longest running American tournaments, the New York Open and the BB&T Atlanta Open, as well as the New York National Lacrosse League expansion team. In addition, GF Sports is the major shareholder in EEM World, a global leader in equestrian event production that owns and operates the Longines Masters Series. GF Sports also incubates new and emerging sport concepts utilizing its global expertise and network to help develop niche sports. Such concepts include Wolf Pack Ninjas, which operates ninja-focused events globally. Veteran sport, media and entertainment executive Hank Ratner is a co-investor with GF Capital across the company’s various sports properties.
GF Capital makes control-oriented, growth capital investments in branded consumer product and media companies, and its investments have included a number of sports and live entertainment companies. These include Repucom, a global leader in sports measurement, evaluation and intelligence, which was sold to Nielsen in 2016 and Blue Man Group, the world-renowned entertainment company which was sold to Cirque du Soleil in 2017.
For additional information, please visit www.gfcap.com.
About BSE Global
BSE Global, formerly Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE), develops and operates state-of-the-art venues and manages premier sports franchises, delivering dynamic content and experiences for audiences. BSE oversees programming, marketing, sales, and operations for Barclays Center; NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum; Brooklyn Paramount; and Webster Hall. BSE manages and controls the Brooklyn Nets and its NBA G League team, the Long Island Nets, as well as the business operations of the NHL’s New York Islanders.
Barclays Center, which opened on September 28, 2012, offers 17,732 seats for basketball, 15,795 for hockey, up to 19,000 for concerts, and has 101 luxury suites, four bars/lounges, four clubs, and Parm Italian Restaurant & 40/40 CLUB by Tanduay Rum.
NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, reopened on April 5, 2017 after undergoing an extensive renovation. The Coliseum offers 14,500 seats for basketball, MMA and boxing, 13,900 for hockey and lacrosse, up to 15,000 for concerts, and 4,500 seats for its theater configuration.
With a focus on emerging businesses, BSE identifies and creates alliances, strategic partnerships and other business opportunities to ensure the success of its assets.