A National Lacrosse League expansion team owned by billionaire Joseph Tsai will begin play at the Valley View Casino Center in November.
“I have a strong passion for lacrosse, and look forward to bringing the NLL to San Diego,” said Tsai, vice chairman of the Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group.
“Our team is committed to creating a fan-first experience and to being an integral part of the local community.”
Tsai is 250th on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people with a net worth of $8.7 billion. He played lacrosse at Yale.
The team name, logo and brand will be unveiled at a special event this fall. The team is accepting $50 deposits for season tickets.
The team will be the league’s first in California since 2009 when the San Jose Stealth moved to Everett, Washington.
NLL commissioner Nick Sakiewicz called Tuesday’s announcement of San Diego being awarded an expansion team “the culmination of months of work and part of the five-year strategic plan to grow the sport of lacrosse through the thoughtful expansion of the NLL.”
The San Diego team increases the membership in the league founded in 1986 to 10, including four in Canada. The other five U.S. teams are the Buffalo Bandits, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, New England Black Wolves and Rochester Knighthawks.
Steve Govett will be the team’s president and Josh Gross vice president, business operations, respectively.
Govett was president and general manager of the league’s Colorado Mammoth for the past 15 years. Gross will be the vice president, business operations, a position he held with the Mammoth.
“We’re thrilled to bring professional lacrosse to San Diego and welcome the National Lacrosse League to its new home in Southern California,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “San Diegans are among the most passionate sports fans you can find and they are going to love the action and excitement this new franchise is going to bring.”
More information can be found here.