Lacrosse is and up and coming sport with a growing fan-base. Now Fort Worth is getting its own team.
The National Lacrosse League adds Cowtown to its franchise list.
The Fort Worth franchise will play at Dickies Arena.
The new NLL team will announce it's newest franchise's name and colors soon.
The sports world has been reeling for months. The NBA is only now restarting its long delayed season in the Orlando Disney bubble. The Texas Rangers will finally open up their $1.2 billion new ballpark on Friday — in front of zero fans (effectively negating the whole point of a new stadium).
Still, somehow through it all, Fort Worth is actually getting a new professional sports team in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The National Lacrosse League awarded Cowtown its 14th franchise. This is the first time the NLL has expanded into the State of Texas in its 34-year history.
It is also the first expansion announcement for any men’s professional North American sports league in 2020 — for good reason.
“The last official announcement for any men’s professional sports league was Major League Soccer’s expansion into Sacramento, which occurred on October 21, 2019,” National Lacrosse League officials note.
The NLL is the longest running and most successful professional lacrosse league in the world (not that there’s a lot of competition in that category). The yet to be named Fort Worth team will begin play at Fort Worth’s showcase Dickies Arena, starting in the 2021-22 season.
Bill Cameron will be the majority owner of the new Fort Worth team while Greg Bibb will serve as managing partner. Cameron is CEO and chairman of the board of Cameron Enterprises, partial owner and board member of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, and lead owner and chairman of the Dallas Wings of the WNBA, while Bibb is the CEO and partner of the Wings.
“We welcome Fort Worth as our 14th team and are excited to be working with a first-class organization led by Bill Cameron, Greg Bibb and the leadership at Dickies Arena, one of the premier state-of-the art facilities in the United States,” NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz says.
“Greg’s accomplishments with the WNBA’s Dallas Wings, one of the greatest business success stories in professional sports in North America, and a Fort Worth fan base who craves what we provide ― fun-filled nonstop action ― will make this franchise a must see and must follow, not only for fans in the area around Fort Worth, but for the global sports business community, and all those with a passion for lacrosse.
“All the pieces we look for in a new partner are in place and we have already begun assisting with the ramp up to the opener 18 months from now.”
Having the 14,000 seat Dickies Arena — which instantly becomes one of the best arenas in the entire league — to play its home games in is a huge advantage f0r this new Fort Worth pro team.
“Dickies Arena is excited to add the NLL to its event list,” says Trail Drive Management Corp.’s Matt Homan, Dickies Arena president and general manager. “We believe there is a solid ownership team along with the strength of the NLL.”
Dickies Arena is already scheduled to host the American Athletic Conference men’s and women’s basketball conference championship tournaments, and 2022 NCAA Tournament games as well as a wide range of concerts and family shows (whenever those return). It is also the new home of the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.
“We wanted a growing sport that is on the rise and that fans can engage with, not just at the arena but at the grassroots level, and one that understands the value of the digital native fans and how brands can engage in these fluid times,” Bibb says. “The NLL checked all those boxes, and we can’t wait to bring this new franchise to the fans in greater Fort Worth.”
Dates for the 2020 NLL Draft and other key information regarding the start of the 35th NLL season will be revealed later this year. The Fort Worth team name, logo and colors also will be unveiled later this year.