Rattlers to Play Bayhawks in St. Petersburg, Florida
from staff reports
BOSTON — Major League Lacrosse, Lacrosse Xtreme and Shooters Lacrosse, in conjunction with St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission and Al Lang Stadium, announced today that the Rochester Rattlers home opener against 2012 MLL Champion Chesapeake Bayhawks will be played at historic Al Lang Stadium, in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m.
MLL returns to the Sunshine State for the second time, after a successful All Star Game in Boca Raton last season, as it contemplates future expansion. This is the second game that Rochester will play in an MLL test market. Earlier this month, the league announced that the Rattlers will play the Boston Cannons on June 7.
"We are excited to return to Florida after a successful All Star Game last season," said Major League Lacrosse Commissioner David Gross. "The Tampa Bay area is rich with sports tradition and we look forward to bringing the best in professional lacrosse to its passionate fans."
The event is being supported by the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, a department of Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater, whose mission is to generate positive economic impact by hosting professional, collegiate, youth and amateur sporting events in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area.
"This is an exciting opportunity to continue growing the St. Petersburg/Clearwater brand as a world-class destination for sports tourism," said St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commissioner Kevin Smith. "We're fortunate to have partnered with Major League Lacrosse on this, and we look forward to even greater things to come."
The game will take place at historic Al Lang Stadium, currently the home of the North American Soccer League's Tampa Bay Rowdies and past spring training home to Major League Baseball's NY Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays.
"We are thrilled to have Major League Lacrosse in our city," said St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster. "Lacrosse continues to grow in our area and I'm excited that area residents and visitors will have the chance to watch the best lacrosse players in the world compete at Al Lang."
"We are extremely proud to host our first Major League Lacrosse Event at Al Lang Stadium," said Steve Nadel of the St. Petersburg Baseball Commission. "Events like these are wonderful ways for us to showcase historic Al Lang Stadium, the destination, and for the community."
Lacrosse XTreme, Tampa Bay's source for lacrosse gear, will also organize a youth tournament as well as other ancillary events to turn the day into as full showcase of youth and professional lacrosse.
"We believe that this game is the natural progression of the sport," said Mike Barsanti, owner of Lacrosse Xtreme. "Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the state of Florida from youth through College; this event will help put our area on the map for lacrosse. Our great partners of the MLL, City of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg/ Clearwater Sports Commission and Al Lang Stadium are supporting us to ensure this game is a huge success."
Tickets for the event will go on sale February 2 at the 2013 Lacrosse Jamboree in Clearwater. Tickets will also be available (along with full event information) through the event website http://www.MLLTampaBay.com, and at www.LacrosseXtremefl.com, www.tampalacrosse.com and directly at www.extremetix.com. Tickets may also be purchased at the Lacrosse Xtreme store at 204 E. Bearss Ave. in Tampa.