The MLL is planning on expanding to 16 teams by 2020, and we’ve started looking at some potential markets the league could go to. We started off with Florida, who recently hosted the MLL All-Star Game. Next we took a look at Atlanta, which has been a city that is frequently brought up when it comes to league expansion. We took a look out west with Seattle, and we will stay further west with Dallas.
The sport of lacrosse is growing tremendously in Texas currently, but the state has no professional lacrosse team. Not only is there a lack of pro lacrosse, there is a tremendous population that must beÂ intriguingÂ to the league. Dallas is the 9th largest market in the United States, and the MLL’s only current team that is in a larger market is the Long Island Lizards.
FC Dallas Stadium seems like a very good fit for the MLL, seating just over 20,000 people. Its obvious primary purpose is being the home of FC Dallas of the MLS. Around the main stadium is 17 practice fields that could be used by the team. Obviously a location like this would make much more sense than the Cotton Bowl or Cowboys Stadium, which are just way too big. Gerald J. Ford Stadium, home of SMU, is also an option. It currently seats about 32,000 spectators.
A Dallas team would have to deal with the fact that they would have to look elsewhere in the country to find players. There is very little homegrown talent at this point, and they cannot draw from NCAA programs like Ohio has because there are no Division I teams currently in Texas. A Dallas franchise would benefit from players relocating to save some travel costs. Denver has managed to succeed further west, I am sure a Dallas franchise would be able to as well.
What do you think about Dallas as a future market in the MLL? Could a city like Dallas fall in love with the sport like Denver has? As for when a team could come into the mix, my guess would be 2016 at the earliest. If the MLL does move west, they are going to want it to be very well planned so everything goes smoothly. Until then Dallas, you’ll just have to wait.