NLL Plans Expansion To Halifax, Ownership Swap In Rochester
The NLL today is announcing some franchise ownership news, including a change at the top in Rochester and a new club slated for Halifax, Nova Scotia. Rochester Knighthawks Owner, CEO, COO & GM Curt Styres will transfer ownership of the team to Pegula Sports & Entertainment after the '18-19 season, which begins Dec. 1. With the change in ownership in Rochester, PSE will own two NLL teams, as the entity already controls the Buffalo Bandits. Styres, who has been at the helm in Rochester since ’08, will then become the owner of a new team in Halifax for the '19-20 season, taking the league to 12 teams. That new team’s identity and name was not revealed today, but the team did confirm it will play at Scotiabank Centre during a press conference that included Styres, NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage and Events East President & CEO Carrie Cussons, whose firm manages Scotiabank Centre and other venues. Sakiewicz said the move to Halifax “helps accomplish our strategic initiative of creating greater relevance in North America.” The news around Rochester and Halifax for '19-20 comes as the league gets set to welcome two expansion clubs for '18-19 in San Diego (owned by Joe Tsai) and Philadelphia (owned by Comcast Spectacor). The league also plans for expansion to 14 teams by the end of this year. A source has said that the 12th, 13th and 14th clubs are expected to pay an expansion fee of more than $5M.