Friday, February 25, 2011

Urban gives full support to provincial rivals

Bruce Urban fully expects his Edmonton Rush to beat the Calgary Roughnecks March 19 at the Saddledome, and not by default.
The Rush owner also can envision a Battle of Alberta in the 2011 National Lacrosse League playoffs.
Roughnecks owner Brad Banister may be facing a cash-crunch and living game-to-game, but Urban has been told unequivocally the Calgary franchise will complete the current campaign.
“I can assure you the Calgary Roughnecks will finish the season in Calgary,” Urban said. “That’s the one thing I can say. The league will be involved to make sure this team doesn’t stop at any point through the season.
“I believe they will be in Calgary for the next 20 years. It’s too good of a sport not to.”
Urban also believes the next owner of the Roughnecks is close at hand and ready to step in when the time is right.
Although he said he has no insider knowledge of the dealings, Urban expects the Calgary Flames will make another push to take over the franchise.
“The reality is it’s a great opportunity for someone else to get involved,” Urban said. “I would be very, very surprised if it was not something the Calgary Flames were interested in.
“It fits what they’ve already got. They are the landlord of the building. It’s eight dates that with the push of the Flames behind it, the crowds (will) absolutely dwarf 99% of the Hitmen games.
“With a push from the Flames, they would have 14,000 in the building for games.”
Calling Urban ‘overwhelming supportive,’ Roughnecks owner Brad Banister said he hasn’t asked the Rush owner for financial assistance despite pleading with local corporate support this week to save the team.
 To read the rest of the story by Ian Busby of the Calgary Sun click here

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