National Sports Center selected to host one of the 2016 Major League Lacrosse semifinal games August 13
Blaine, Minn. (March 9, 2016) – Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, announced today that the National Sports Center in Blaine has been selected to host one of the league’s two semi-final games on Saturday, August 13.
Two neutral locations will host the 2016 MLL semifinal games for the first time in League history. The other semifinal will be held at Rafferty Stadium at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn. Both semifinal games will be played on August 13.
“Having our semifinals in southern Connecticut and Minnesota gives us a great opportunity to expand our brand and provide lacrosse fans the chance to see the best players in the world competing for the Steinfeld Trophy,” said MLL Commissioner David Gross. “We are really excited to be working with the local groups in Connecticut and Minnesota to make this a tremendous event that will help continue to grow the sport and the League.”
Lacrosse is growing rapidly throughout the country, especially in Minnesota. From 2009 to 2013, Minnesota experienced the highest growth in high school lacrosse at 73 percent, according to National Federation of State High School Associations data. Based on the 2014 US Lacrosse Participation Survey, Minnesota is a hot bed for youth and high school lacrosse growth.
The National Sports Center Stadium, located 20 miles north of Minneapolis, MN, is home to the Minnesota United FC professional soccer team and can accommodate crowds up to 10,000. The stadium has hosted local, regional and collegiate lacrosse events, including the U.S. Collegiate Club Lacrosse National Championships in 2005 and a near sell-out game featuring Army and Notre Dame in 2008.
“The National Sports Center is proud to host one of the Major League Lacrosse semifinal games,” said NSC’s Senior Director of Sport Services Darin Thompson. “Minnesota has a passionate and growing lacrosse fan base, and we would expect a full house for the game.”
Opened in February 2015, Rafferty Stadium is a 3,500-seat venue located on the campus of Fairfield University. The stadium represents Fairfield University’s commitment to its lacrosse programs. Rafferty Stadium is home to Fairfield men’s and women’s lacrosse, in addition to men’s and women’s soccer, intramural, and club sport programs.
This will be the first year in which the League’s top two teams at the end of the regular season will not host the semi-finals in their home markets. Major League Lacrosse will work with a strong partnership group in Minnesota and Connecticut, comprising of local lacrosse groups and local US Lacrosse chapters to promote the sport’s growth and to generate awareness about the 2016 semifinals.
Rafferty Stadium will host the first semifinal game at 4 p.m. ET/ 3 p.m. CT while the National Sports Center Stadium will host the second semifinal game at 6:30 pm ET / 5:30 pm CT.
Tickets for the 2016 MLL semifinals will go on sale to the public on Monday, March 28th and can be purchased at majorleaguelacrosse.com. For more information about the 2016 semifinals and updates on the ticket on sale date, please follow MLL on Twitter at @MLL_Lacrosse.