Saskatchewan just got a second professional sports team.
The National Lacrosse League’s (NLL’s) Edmonton Rush are moving to Saskatoon, and will play under a green and black Saskatchewan Rush banner starting in 2016.
“There were some American cities that were interested in a team, and when we knew that Saskatoon was an option, to me it was ‘that’s where I want to be’,” said team owner Bruce Urban, who was born in Saskatchewan.
“We believe that this province is going to embrace lacrosse,” he added.
The move comes little more than a month after the Rush beat the Toronto Rock to win the 2015 Champion’s Cup.
Urban said the uncertainty of a new arena in Edmonton and lacklustre attendance both contributed to the move after ten seasons.
“Ten years ago, we averaged 11,000 fans in Rexal Place … unfortunately we missed the playoffs the first four years and it really killed the momentum of a new sport. We’re not planning to miss the playoffs in Saskatchewan with this team,” he said.
The championship trophy was on display behind the Delta Bessborough Hotel for the official announcement Tuesday. A championship banner will be hoisted above Sasktel Centre when the Rush takes the field for the first time in their new home.
Former Calgary Stampeders executive Lee Genier was announced as the team’s new president. Genier spent 18 seasons with the team, helping them earn three Grey Cup titles, and the largest season-ticket base in the CFL.
The LLC regular season is 18 games long, including nine home games starting in January.
Tickets are expected to be in the $35 range.
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Saskatchewan Rush team president Lee Genier