SBD/November 21, 2013/Franchises

Major League Lacrosse Places Team In South Florida, Will Begin Play In '14 Season

Major League Lacrosse today announced that it will place a team in South Florida for the ’14 season, and that the Hamilton Nationals will not participate in the upcoming season, keeping the league at eight teams for ‘14. The new team will be named the Florida Launch and play in Palm Beach County, though the specific venue has not been announced yet. MLL Commissioner Dave Gross said, “We’re very close to a lease agreement and we hope to have that resolved the week after Thanksgiving. But we’re confident. We’ve already secured all the dates at the venue.” The Launch’s front-office staff also will be announced in the upcoming weeks, but the team has named Stan Ross its head coach. Ross is a Florida resident and former Denver Outlaws assistant. “We’ve been looking at Florida now for a few years -- playing the All-Star game there two years ago and this past summer playing another regular-season game -- and we were just looking for the right opportunity to finally plant the flag full-time and it presented itself,” Gross said. “We’ve been discussing this really since the end of August about making the move for this coming season.” The MLL season begins in late April. Gross said the league wanted to stay at an even number of teams for scheduling purposes, and that was “the tipping point” in choosing to relocate a team rather than add an expansion club. The entire 23-man roster of the Nationals, the league's only team in Canada, will make up the foundation of the Launch. The league held focus groups to determine the new team’s nickname, and Gross said Launch was “the one that really scored the highest along with the neon yellow and cobalt color scheme.” He added, “We really want to make it a state of Florida team, not just whatever city it’s going to be in.”
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