Calgary, AB -- The Calgary Flames organization announced today the purchase of the Calgary Roughnecks of the National Lacrosse League.
The Roughnecks entered the National Lacrosse League as an expansion franchise in 2001, and recently completed their 10th anniversary season. The Roughnecks quickly built a championship-caliber franchise, winning two NLL Championships (2004 & 2009) and reaching the playoffs in nine of 10 seasons. The Roughnecks have been at the center of some memorable moments in league history. The 2004 championship game at the Saddledome was played in front of 19,289 fans in one the loudest and most electric crowd atmospheres in league history, as the Roughnecks defeated Buffalo to win their first championship. In 2005, they hosted the NLL All-Star Game at the Saddledome in a game that was televised live across North America on NBC.
“We look forward to building off of the great franchise that Brad Banister and his team have developed over the past 10 years,” said Flames President & CEO Ken King. “The Roughnecks provide great entertainment to the City of Calgary and we are confident we can continue the great tradition of fielding championship quality teams for many years to come.”
While featuring the world's best lacrosse players, the Roughnecks have remained true to their Alberta roots, having a knack for acquiring the province's best lacrosse talent. Kaleb Toth and Geoff Snider, both from Calgary, are two of the team’s key players. Since the Roughnecks brought professional box lacrosse to Calgary, youth participation in Alberta has skyrocketed, from approximately 3,000 players in 2001 to more than 11,000 players today.
“I am extremely pleased we were able to do a deal with the Calgary Flames that will ensure the Calgary Roughnecks will stay in the community that has stood by them for the last ten years,” said Brad Banister, the Okotoks businessman who was the principal owner and president from the club’s inception. “Their involvement and participation means that the thousands of kids and fans which currently support the organization, as well as it's players, will continue to have something to look up and aspire to, such as the kids who are currently participating in the many collegiate programs, such as the NCAA, to further their education, who are also paving the path for future kids to follow. With the help of the Flames, it will ensure that the game of lacrosse will continue to thrive and produce talent at a national level. This transaction allows the dream as well as the growth of lacrosse to continue to succeed in the province of Alberta.”
Additionally, it was announced that Mike Board and Mike Moore have been named General Manager and Director of Business Operations respectively. Board played lacrosse in Brampton and Peterborough, finishing his competitive playing career in Junior A lacrosse with the Brampton Excelsiors before attending Ryerson University from 1979 to 1982 majoring in Journalism. Since moving to Calgary, he has been active in lacrosse in various capacities as a coach and manager including an assistant coach role with Team Alberta (Bantam) at the 2006 Nationals with current Roughnecks head coach Dave Pym. He originally joined the Flames organization in 2002 in the capacity of content manager for the Flames internet properties.
Mike Moore just completed his 14th season in the Western Hockey League where he has excelled in the roles of Regional Scout, General Manager and Director of Business Operations with the Calgary Hitmen, Kamloops Blazers and Medicine Hat Tigers. Moore is the current Director of Business Operations for the Calgary Hitmen returning to the Hitmen in 2008 where he began his full time WHL career in 1997 as Assistant General Manager of the team. He was also athletic director for the Edge School from 2005-2008. Moore has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Calgary.
"We are proud to welcome a great organization like the Calgary Flames to the National Lacrosse League", said NLL Commissioner George Daniel. "The Roughnecks will no doubt be a showcase franchise for the NLL for years to come. I would like to thank Brad Banister and his partners for bringing the NLL to Calgary and establishing a winning tradition by earning two Champion's Cup titles over the past decade."
About the National Lacrosse League:
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America's professional indoor lacrosse league, featuring the best lacrosse players in the world. Founded in 1987, the league recently completed its 2011 season, the league’s 25th anniversary season. Average game attendance is close to 10,000 fans per game, with several games played in front of crowds in excess of 16,000 fans. The NLL has ten teams playing in major markets of the United States and Canada: Boston Blazers, Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Edmonton Rush, Minnesota Swarm, Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, Toronto Rock and Washington Stealth. NLL games are televised nationally on VERSUS in US and on TSN & TSN2 in Canada. For more information, visit the official website of the National Lacrosse League at: www.NLL.com