Minnesota has seen great growth in recent years when it comes to lacrosse, with the Minnesota Swarm helping to spread the word. The question some have been asking is whether that growth is enough to support two lacrosse teams, a NLL team in the Winter and an MLL team in the summer.
Its hard to argue against the numbers when it comes to the massive increase of interest in the state. Minnesota is ranked ninth in the country when it comes to current members of US Lacrosse, and also has seen the amount of varsity programs increase from 61 to over 150 over the course of ten years. On a youth level Minnesota is one of the strongholds of lacrosse. Of course that doesn’t always translate to a professional level, but the Minnesota Swarm have shown us it can.
Minnesota has not had the best attendance in the NLL, but at around 9,000 people a game they do get a decent crowd. Of course the MLL is a tad different when it comes to attendance, and 9,000 people would be great. For me it really comes down to marketing for an MLL team in the Twin Cities.
The SwarmÂ benefitedÂ from their original owner also owning the Wild as well. Minnesota loves its hockey, and that provided a way to spread the word of the team when it was founded in 2004. This would also be incredibly helpful for a Minnesota MLL team, which would benefit from (gasp, this never happens) working with their NLL partners. There are people who love the sport professionally and at a youth level, you just need to get their attention.
When looking at venues, there aren’t a ton of options really. I usually disregard any that I feel is too big, like the Metrodome, because that does not financially make sense to most owners. TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Gophers, is too big as well. There are a few college stadiums, like the Gangelhoff Center and the Edor Nelson Field that could support an expansion team. From what I could find there was no real ideal location.
I do believe Minnesota could support a team and believe the Twin Cities area will definitely be considered for expansion within the next ten years. It may take some work, but I strongly believe the league would like to create a presence in the Midwest region. What do you think of the possibility of the league in Minnesota? Tell me your take in the comment section below. Make sure to also check out my views on Dallas, Seattle, Atlanta, and Florida.