Sunday, February 20, 2011

NLL in London???

Another week has gone by and more news about the Rochester Knighthawks attendance problems get louder.
On Sunday, Bob Matthews of the Rochester Democrat Chronicle wrote an interseting column about the future of the Khighthaawks and Rochester Americans, who are also owned by Six Nations businessman Curt Styres.
To read that piece, click here
Prior to reading Matthews' piece, rumours of Styres moving the team to Ontario, namely Hamilton, has run rampant.
To some extent, it makes sense.
Attendance with both teams in Rochester are at all-time lows, and Six Nations - where the Knighthawks practice during the week, is home to many of the team's stars and is about 30 minutes away. Styres' Major League Lacrosse team - the Hamilton Nationals - has just made the move down the QEW from Toronto.
Like I said, it sort of makes sense but not fully.
The one factor in this equation that doesn't fit is the Amerks. Hamilton already has an American Hockey League team - the Bulldogs - and the Toronto Marlies are less than an hour away.
While Hamilton would seem like a good fit out of convenience, Styres best bet would be in London.
Only an hour and a half away from Six Nations, the city of London is always looking to boost its portfolio. It's a successful large city and they have an arena John Labbatt Centre, which is home to the London Knights.
This arena would be the perfect home for the Knighthawks and Amerks.
With semi-pro soccer and football in the city, there's a real thirst in southern Ontario for professional sports and Styres' two teams could be the perfect remedy for that.
With several junior clubs and minor lacrosse associations within an hour to hour and a half away, there would be an instant fan base. It would not only be London's team, it could be sold as a regional team, much like the Knights are.

- Darryl Smart

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