March 9, 2005 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL)
Boston, MA (March 9, 2005) Â– Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, announced today its first expansion operating group for the 2006 season according to MLL Commissioner David Gross. AEG Inc. formed AEG L.A. Lacrosse Inc., bringing the MLL to the city of Los Angeles, California, at The Home Depot Center located in Carson on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills, to begin play during the 2006 season beginning on May 20, 2006. This historic announcement makes Los Angeles the first of four new MLL west coast expansion cities. Major League Lacrosse began its push towards westward expansion with Â“Project West CoastÂ” starting in 2003. The MLL has played regular season games in Seattle, Washington and Denver, Colorado. Major League Lacrosse remains committed to its timeline for western expansion.
Â“This announcement keeps us right on schedule,Â” said MLL Founder Jake Steinfeld, CEO of Body by Jake Global. Â“Our goal is to put four teams in the west for the 2006 season and what a way to begin with AEG and LA, right here in my backyard. AEG is the best sports and entertainment company in the world and weÂ’re thrilled to have them as part of the MLL. Working with Tim Leiweke and his group has been outstanding. AEG is our pioneer out west, with three more teams to follow soon.Â”
"At a time when more southern Californians than ever are following and playing the sport of lacrosse, we couldn't be more pleased to bring to Los Angeles and The Home Depot Center a Major League Lacrosse franchise," said Tim Leiweke, President and CEO, AEG. "Jake Steinfeld has been tireless in developing and promoting a model league that has been instrumental in the tremendous growth of lacrosse in the United States. We are thrilled to be in business with Jake and Major League Lacrosse and are committed to building a model franchise."
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. The new Los Angeles MLL team will play its games at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA. In addition to that facility, AEG owns and/or manages several major sports arenas and franchises including STAPLES Center, the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), the Los Angeles Lakers (overseeing Philip AnschutzÂ’s shares of the NBA franchise), and the Los Angeles Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes, Chicago Fire, DC United, and the MetroStars, all of Major League Soccer.
Major League Lacrosse will announce the team name, general manager and head coach for its new Los Angeles team at a later date. The majority of the teamÂ’s players will come from the MLLÂ’s expansion draft, scheduled to take place in the fall of 2005.
Â“This is a major moment in the history of the MLL,Â” said Gross. Â“Not only is this our first of four west coast expansion teams for 2006, we have been able to add an incredible partner with AEG. This is truly an historic event for our league. We expect to name the second western expansion organization shortly and have the other two in the fold in the coming months.Â”
The MLL plans to add four total expansion teams for the 2006 season, to comprise its western division. The league will subsequently add two more teams by 2008, completing the division and its western expansion initiative.
The announcement of its first expansion team is another in a string of major growth successes for Major League Lacrosse. In 2004, attendance increased league wide by more than 47% to over 4,250 per game. The MLLÂ’s Wild West Tour, in which the league partnered with the NFLÂ’s Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos to host a pair of regular season games in their facilities, drew more than 17,000 fans combined. The 2004 New Balance Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend drew over 15,000 fans. The league extended its partnerships with New Balance, Warrior Lacrosse, Gatorade and ESPN2. These successes combined with the official start of westward expansion, the naming of the Los Angeles team, have vaulted the MLL closer to its goal of becoming a truly national, bi-coastal league, bringing the worldÂ’s best lacrosse players to the entire nation.
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center, The Forum (as exclusive booking agent for sports and entertainment programming), HealthSouth Training Center, NOKIA Theatre at Grand Prairie and London's Manchester Evening News Arena; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), Manchester Monarchs (AHL), Reading Royals (ECHL), Chicago Fire, DC United, Los Angeles Galaxy, Metrostars and San Jose Earthquakes (MLS), three hockey franchises operated in Europe, the Hammarby (Sweden) Futbol Club and management of shares of the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA) owned by Philip Anschutz; AEG Marketing, a sponsorship, sales, naming rights and consulting company; AEG Merchandising, a multi-faceted merchandising company; and AEG Creative, a full-service marketing and advertising agency.
AEG LIVE, the nation's second largest concert promotion and touring company, with five regional offices, is comprised of stand-alone affiliate divisions devoted to all aspects of live entertainment including: AEG LIVE Events, creators and producers of special events of all sizes; AEG-TV, creators of live events for television, DVD, pay-per-view, cinema and other electronic media; AEG Radio, developers and packagers of national and regional radio programming; and AEG LIVE Tours & Special Events, Goldenvoice, The Messina Group and AEG Exhibitions, the company's national entertainment promotion and touring divisions. AEG LIVE is currently producing Celine Dion A New Day...Presented By Chrysler, a spectacular theatrical production starring Dion and an international cast of 60 dancers, musicians and artists and directed by Franco Dragone currently being performed exclusively at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and the recently announced "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs," an international tour of the artifacts of King Tut.
AEG is currently overseeing the development of a proposed 4 million square foot downtown Los Angeles sports and entertainment district featuring NOKIA Theatre Los Angeles, a 7,000-seat state-of-the-art live theatre, a 55 story, 1200-room convention "headquarters" hotel, Club NOKIA, a 2,500 capacity live music venue along with entertainment, restaurant, broadcast studios, residential and office space all adjacent to STAPLES Center. The company was recently selected to fully develop the 28-acre Millennium Dome and adjacent property located in the eastern part of London along the Thames River and will create new arenas within the Millennium Dome, on a 50-acre site in the heart of Berlin and in Kansas City, Missouri; stadiums in Bridgeview, Illinois.
About The Home Depot Center
The Home Depot Center is southern California's new home of world-class competition and training facilities for amateur, Olympic, collegiate and professional athletes. The $150 million privately financed facility was developed and is operated by AEG on a 125 acre site on the campus of California State Dominguez Hills in Carson, California, The Home Depot Center features a 13,000 seat stadium for tennis, a 27,000 seat stadium for soccer, rugby, lacrosse & other athletic competitions and outdoor concerts, a 20,000 seat facility for track & field, the ADT Event Center, a 2450-seat indoor velodrome and other facilities for softball, baseball, beach volleyball, basketball and other sports. Named an Official U.S. Olympic Training Site, The Home Depot Center is home of the USTA High Performance Training Center (tennis) as well as the national team training headquarters for the U.S. Soccer Federation. The "complex, " which is also the home of the nationally recognized Athletes Performance training center for elite and professional athletes, is an Olympic Training site and is the training home for USA Cycling, United States Track & Field and the USTA.
About Major League Lacrosse
Major League Lacrosse, a six-team professional outdoor lacrosse league, was founded in 1999 by fitness entrepreneur Jake Steinfeld, CEO of Body by Jake Global L.L.C., and partners Dave Morrow, a former champion lacrosse player and now CEO of Warrior Lacrosse, a leading global provider of innovative and high performance lacrosse equipment; and Timothy B. Robertson, former CEO of The Family Channel and the current chairman of Bay Shore Enterprises, L.L.C., an investment holding company with activities in international media and Internet technology ventures. The MLL commenced play in June of 2001 and has teams in Baltimore, Boston, Long Island, (Montclair) New Jersey, Philadelphia and Rochester. The 2005 MLL season will begin on Friday, May 20 and conclude with the New Balance Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend Friday, August 19 and Sunday, August 21 at Boston UniversityÂ’s Nickerson Field. Additional league information can be found at www.majorleaguelacrosse.com.