Earlier today, the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse (MLL) announced an exciting partnership with the City of Quincy, which will allow the professional lacrosse team to compete at Veterans Memorial Stadium, beginning next June.
The Cannons, who have been competing in the MLL since 2001, recently called Harvard Stadium their home site, but have also hosted games at Gillette Stadium, Cawley Stadium and Nickerson Field.
As noted in today’s release, the organization plans to “make a significant investment to enhance” Veterans Memorial Stadium,” which currently houses both Quincy High School and North Quincy High School football teams, along with various local youth and community teams, as well. Veterans Memorial Stadium currently can seat at least 5,000 fans.
Moving the team from Allston to Quincy will allow the team to continue to grow its presence, both in the city and throughout the South Shore, with its headquarters based not too far away from Veterans Memorial Stadium. The Cannons have called Quincy their home since moving to the city in 2016.
“The Boston Cannons organization is both excited and proud to call Veterans Memorial Stadium our new home,” said Boston Cannons President Ian Frenette earlier today at City Hall in Quincy.
“With the expanding Major League Lacrosse schedule, it was an opportunity for us to assess the best possible home for our organization and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayor (Thomas P.) Koch and the City of Quincy.
“Along with game days, moving to the stadium provides our organization a greater opportunity to grow the game of lacrosse throughout Greater Boston with increased youth clinics, camps, tournaments and presence.”
Boston will host eight games next season at Veterans Memorial Stadium, beginning with its season-opener on Saturday, June 1st when they welcome the Ohio Machine to Quincy.
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Additionally, the league will have a new team this year competing in Dallas – it was announced last November that Rochester would move to Texas and play its games at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco (the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and practice facility). MLL held its championship game last season in Dallas where fans were treated to an exciting 17-12 victory by the Ohio Machine. It was the first-ever MLL crown for the Ohio franchise, which fell short to Denver in the 2016 championship game.
Following his team’s Media Day last month, Frenette spoke with Noontime Sports about the league’s growth, as well as his team playing games in Beverly, Massachusetts (Endicott College) and Hingham, Massachusetts (“Cannons in Your Community“) this spring and summer.
On growth of the Major League Lacrosse (MLL): I think we have some serious momentum right now. We have a new commissioner, who just started a little over two months ago. I think we are seeing the biggest growth in a team that is now in Dallas, which used to be in Rochester. It is too bad (they) had to leave Rochester, but to take a franchise and move it into a place like Dallas, which has a tremendous growth curve in the game of lacrosse right now is a great thing for the league’s brand.
I also think the leadership that is happening inside of all of these organizations – there are more (people) running these businesses that understand how to run professional teams. We have kind of gone into another phase, which is huge. I also believe that the players expect more out of themselves (because) they are improving their game (every day). You also see (the sport lending itself) to social media (with people like Paul) Rabil, who is helping raise that bar. Everyone else wants to follow in his footsteps, so they can (make and create content) of their own.
On seeing more teams in the Major League Lacrosse (MLL) in the future: Right now, we are in a huge expansion mode as far as researching what those markets look like – it is all about finding good owners and people who are willing to grow with the league. It is not an immediate thing. What was (highlighted in a New York Times piece on Major League Soccer last summer) was most of those MLS places (don’t) have their own stadiums, and we are starting to see that a little bit now in our league as well. Ohio has its own stadium and venue, and Dallas is obviously world class with the Jones family. Atlanta has a very good venue with Kennesaw State University – it is the right size, not too big and I think there are other organizations that are looking at their own (venues and stadiums. They are probably asking), “how do we get there?” Once that starts to happen then you will see the businesses start to flourish. You also will start to see more eyes – maybe non-lacrosse or not even sports-centered eyes on what those products are and what does that venue mean to the overall community. All those pieces are important to putting this puzzle together.
On ‘Cannons in Your Community’: This opportunity kind of fell in our lap and we thought (about) taking our brand into communities that we think would want us. We started with Hingham and they have been nothing, but gracious about every element of what our production looks like, but just knowing the significant lacrosse culture in that town (helped).
In Beverly, Endicott College is a great venue and certainly supports a bunch of surrounding towns that are very heavy lacrosse centric towns, as well. Who knows what this means for 2019 and future opportunities, but logistically, things will be a little bit different (than what fans are used to at Harvard Stadium), but we are excited about it. Those venues should be sold out, so we are pretty excited about (these opportunities to play in Beverly and Hingham).