PHILADELPHIA IS HOTBED FOR LACROSSE AS SPORT’S MOST INFLUENTIAL LEADERS CONVERGE IN PHILADELPHIA FOR NATIONAL CONFERENCE AND CITY’S PROFESSIONAL INDOOR TEAM PREPARES FOR HOME OPENER
CITY TO HOST NCAA MEN’S DIVISION I, II, AND III FINAL FOUR IN MAY 2020
NATIONAL LACROSSE LEAGUE’S 13-TEAM LEAGUE HEADQUARTERS ARE IN PHILADELPHIA
This week in Philadelphia, more than 8,000 lacrosse coaches, manufacturers, and retail providers will converge in Philadelphia beginning on Thursday, January 9 for the US Lacrosse Convention (LaxCon). Twenty-five professional indoor lacrosse players from the Philadelphia Wings are preparing for their home opener at Wells Fargo Center on Friday, January 10. Nick Sakiewicz, Commissioner of the 13-team National Lacrosse League, sits in his Center City Philadelphia office looking to grow the number of professional lacrosse teams across North America. The City of Philadelphia is in the planning stages of hosting the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Final Four at Lincoln Financial Field.
In the Philadelphia region there are over 25,000 youths competing in lacrosse according to US Lacrosse, a 25% increase for both young men and women at the high school level. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Youth Lacrosse Association says there are 55 youth club teams in the Philadelphia area and growing, and more than 90 men’s high school lacrosse programs.
Last spring the City of Philadelphia saw more than 80,000 over a three-day period attending the 2019 NCAA Divisions I, II and III Men’s Lacrosse Championship, generating nearly $22.8 million, and 20,000 room nights, according to the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The Wings, who will play nine home games in South Philadelphia this winter and spring, feature 10 players who competed in the NCAA Final Four in Philadelphia, including Glenside, PA-native Matt Rambo, and Isaiah-Davis Allen who captured the title in 2017 with the University of Maryland, and Austin Pifani who captured in the title in 2015 with the University of North Carolina.
The Wings will face off against the Vancouver Warriors at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, January 10 at 7 p.m. The game will be shown locally on NBCSN Philadelphia. The team is celebrating the growth of the sport in Philadelphia by hosting US Lacrosse and those attending LAXCon with a ticket package that includes a ticket to the game and LAXCon at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The Wings will honor several hundred US Lacrosse athletes from across the Greater Philadelphia Region during Friday’s game.
“With the talent, infrastructure and executive leadership of the NLL all here in Philadelphia, along with the Wings, we’ve solidified our place as one of the country’s top lacrosse destinations,” said PHL Sports Executive Director Larry Needle. “We’re also very excited to welcome LAXCON and the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships back to Philadelphia in 2020.”
“With the entire Lacrosse community coming together this weekend in Philadelphia, there is no better way to kick off the festivities than what is occurring at the Wings Home Opener Friday night,” said Sackiewicz. “There will be a great roster of celebrities, players, sponsors and personalities attending the game and I can’t wait. It is a very exciting time for the sport and the National Lacrosse League as we continue our momentum with new sponsors, new markets joining the League and the expansion of our viewing audience on Bleacher Report Live.”
“We’re thrilled to be Philadelphia’s professional lacrosse team and provide role models for young aspiring lacrosse players across the region,” said Lindsey Masciangelo, Director of Business Operations, Wings. “The impact our team is making in our community outreach is measured by the ongoing growth of our sport. It’s wonderful to have great partners in US Lacrosse, the City of Philadelphia and the National Lacrosse League to put more lacrosse sticks in the hands of our youth. The NCAA Final Four of lacrosse is a true celebration of the greatness of our game and it’s tremendous to have the event in Philadelphia.”
“We’re really looking forward to being back in Philadelphia for our convention this year,” said Kim Rogers, director of special events for US Lacrosse. “Our attendees love taking advantage of everything the city has to offer during their stay and the energy from the local community for Saturday’s Fan Fest helps showcase the sport in the best possible light while getting everyone excited for the season.”
The 2020 Men’s Lacrosse Championships will be held at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Penn. For the Division I Men’s Championship two, two-team single elimination Semifinals games will be held Saturday, May 23 with times to be announced. The two teams winning in the semifinals will advance and compete in the single elimination Division I National Championship game which will take place Monday, May 25 with time to be announced.