This past weekend, Philadelphia hosted the MLL Championships in which the Chesapeake Bayhawks repeated as MLL Champions and won their 5th title.
The site was PPLPark home of the Philadelphia Union soccer team. On Saturday we saw 4,228 people come to support their teams, and on Sunday we had 3,798 fans for the title game.
From 2004-2008 the Philadelphia Barrage played in the MLL (2001-03 Bridgeport CT). During there existence the Barrage went 37-23 (6-33 Bridgeport) and won 3 Steinfeld Cups (2004,2006,2007). Yes the totals for this weekend had fans from Chesapeake, some from Denver, Charlotte, and Hamilton, and on average would have been fourth overall on average through regular season numbers. But there were also fans from the tri-state area. Some may say that a team wouldn’t survive, but with the right owner and advertising, it could.
The sport has really grown over the last decade. We have Youth lacrosse clubs to go along with the high school programs, and some high schools just starting to introduce the game. The team would be sharing the residence of the field with the Union who would be playing during the MLL season so you have a chance to bring Union fans into the game as well.
There is plenty of opportunity to fill seats. The Philadelphia team and the Wings can work together offering discount prices for season ticket holders, there could be discounts for Union fans as well. With the Youth lacrosse you can offer them half price seats when wearing there team jersey. Selling a seat at half price is better then leaving the seat empty. But before a decision can be made for this, I believe we would need to see the MLL bring a couple games here during the season as more of a test to see if the interest is there
Should a team come to Philadelphia, it would have to be locally owned in my opinion. This way the ownership can see and hear what the fans are looking for and want. A team here can obviously bring some familiar names for coaching, and maybe as a part owner.
Names such as Jake Bergey, Tom Slate, Brian Dougherty, and who knows maybe bring Tony Resch back to Philadelphia.
Could we see the colors or the name of the Barrage come back?
Could we see names like Crowley, Merrill, Westervelt, Hall and Rabill pull double duty for Philadelphia teams?
As a lax fan, I love to see a team here again. As far as the names above, one can dream cant they?