CLax made through one year. Despite all the adversity they endured, the league made it past year one, more than a lot of leagues can say about themselves.
Yesterday, the league announced three new franchises; Toronto, Barrie and St. Catharines. However, now the league owns five of those teams, and league commissioner Paul St. John isn’t pulling any punches about how he feels about that.
“Real excited, spreading the teams out so they have a home of their own is terrific for the league, the players and of course the fans.
But I am nervous as well, the league is operating 5 teams this year so it means more work and more money. We need as many volunteers as possible to assist all the teams, we have some great people in key roles and we know there are more great people who would like to get involved with a pro lacrosse franchise.”
CLax will have the same rules in 2013 as of now, and the league has plenty of media driving it forward with games on The Lacrosse Radio Network and through webcast coming, something St. John believes is a positive.
“I believe because of the exposure LRN has given us as well as the webcasts more fans will make their way to a Clax venue to enjoy the exciting style of play that our players give them in person.” said St. John. “I also believe that more players will make the jump from Clax to the NLL during the season as we continue to assist the NLL when teams have injuries or want to tinker with their roster. There is so much talent out there but not enough teams at the highest level so fans should come and enjoy seeing them in Clax especially with our low ticket prices.”
The league still wants to get owners to own some of the five teams that the league controls, and St. John once again is very open about this.
“Marisa, I want to be open and very honest here, our team budgets are under $150K, we have a low buy in at $25K and if we can grow then the ‘out’ for an owner or ownership group can be very rewarding. Our motto has always been low risk, high reward. Today the rewards are giving more players the opportunity to play winter pro box lacrosse. Today the rewards is by owning a Pro franchise you also give young players age 6 to 19 the opportunity to play in Junior Clax on game days at the same venue as the pro’s and there is no bigger reward then to see the happy faces of the kids because we created something to allow them to play. We’ve has so many players from the pro’s down to the little ones thank us for what Jim Veltman and I along with many others have been able to create in a short time frame.
“As much as it is about creating Clax, its also about growing the game at all levels. If we can get some owners or investors to join us in our quest I think in the end if they are looking for that financial reward it will come when they feel its time to sell their franchise. Growing positive financial rewards takes time as it does with most new businesses.
Finally, fans have been asking what the team names of Barrie and St. Kitts will be. St. John says they are unsure still, but you can help with that.
“Barrie and St. Kitts are looking for nicknames, in Barrie suggested names have been Blast, Admirals, Blizzard and 400’s. In St. Kitts there has been some debate to call the team Niagara, but nicknames suggested have been Power, DareDevils and ScreaminEagles. Maybe some of your listeners and followers may want to suggest some names!”