I’d like to begin this blog by thanking In Lacrosse We Trust for the opportunity to write a little piece about lacrosse and the NALL every week. It has been a great season for the Rockhoppers and certainly an overall successful one for the league as well. If you look at what was positive from the second season of the North American Lacrosse League, I think the future looks promising for the growth of our sport. Those of you that came down to Marlboro to see the mean penguins in action know what I’m talking about. Great atmosphere, packed arena, competitive lacrosse and television coverage from our friends at WMCT made for a great year! I can’t thank the fans enough for their passion during games and their dedication to our team.
It is very challenging to build a fan base in any sports and it is especially true in lacrosse where resources are still limited in many ways. How big to you think the marketing machines for the Phoenix Coyotes and Detroit Pistons are? Yet, just like many teams in professional sport, they struggle to get fans in the stands. I’m not comparing the NALL to the NHL or the NBA, I’m just pointing out the fact that building a fan base is difficult and it takes time, even in the biggest professional leagues. Having 1500 to 2000 fans for every one of our home games is a pretty big achievement in my opinion. The Stickhorses play in a huge arena but they also average more than 1000 fans a game. All I’m saying is that it is very easy to diminish what others are trying to build when you aren’t doing anything. As lacrosse fans and players we should encourage the people behind CLAX, NALL, PLL, NLL, MSL, MLL, etc. And those of you who think it’s not worth the time and effort, look at what the Prague tournament has become in Europe and how fast the European Lacrosse League is growing!
If you are in New England this summer, take a trip to Burlington, VT, to watch the Voyageurs in action. And while you’re here, buy a hat, 6 t-shirts and 27 bumper stickers, because kids, Voyageurs gear is much better than drugs.