Goods Corner is a new weekly editorial from Jack Goods covering the latest topics of interest around the sport of lacrosse. You can get in on the conversation by writing in the comment section below or by hitting Jack up on Twitter @GoodsOnSabres.
The red flags appeared before we even got close to starting the season for the Rochester Rattlers. It was announced that two of the Rattlers’ eight home games would be moved to other locations to test those markets. Its exciting when you focus on the future expansion locations for the MLL, as two teams should be added for next season based on the original “two new teams every other year” plan. However, there was another side to the news too.
Its hard to say that a team with incredible hopes for their current location would move one fourth of their home games somewhere else. So it got some people wondering, what is becoming of the Rochester Rattlers?
If that was the only red flag, then the idea that the Rattlers are on the move could be easily dismissed. However, that’s not the only worry. Advertising seems to be down, and their attendance is near the bottom of the league at this point in the season. Last year they averaged a little under 3,700 fans per game. This year the announced average is down to under 2,500 (and many attendees say that it was likely much smaller than that).
Look at the Rattlers’ Twitter. It hasn’t been used since September. Their Facebook hasn’t been updated since November. Their most recent game recap from their game with Charlotte is just a copy and paste from the Hounds website, with no Rochester perspective at all.
All signs point to the Rattlers preparing to abort. How will this affect expansion plans? The MLL hasn’t been shy to the fact that they want to go to Florida and Atlanta, but what if Rochester is the team that moves to one of those places? If a team moved, would the MLL still be interested in adding two new expansion teams, or would they be ok with having an odd number of teams like the NLL?
At this point its all speculation, but its hard to say the truth isn’t in the pudding. If the Rattlers aren’t actually planning to move, they are simply partaking in terrible management and will ruin any fanbase that they have developed. If you’re a Rattlers fan you deserve some answers, and you deserve better than what you are getting.