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Mid-season franchise fold?


Viper

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The National Lacrosse League has had plenty of franchise turnover through most of its 25-year history, but at least the most recent victims - the Orlando Titans, Portland LumberJax, Chicago Shamrox and Arizona Sting - have had the decency to finish their last season before, to use the preferred euphemism in NLL circles, "going dark".

Then there are the Calgary Roughnecks, just two seasons removed from a league championship and now purportedly in such dire financial straits that they might not even make it to St. Patrick's Day:

A desperate Banister released a letter to media Tuesday evening, admitting he was recently unable to pay players on time and felt the Roughnecks would fold prior to the finish of the NLL?s regular season if he was unable to inject any more money into the franchise soon. It?s expected the Roughnecks will be able to play their March 5th date away to the Philadelphia Wings, but anything past that appears to be an extreme unknown.

Folding in the middle of the season? C'mon, man!

(Full disclosure: Actually, this could help my beloved Minnesota Swarm if it happens. Not only is Calgary currently the only team ahead of the Swarm in the West standings, but the teams aren't scheduled to play each other until April, well after the March 5 date mentioned in the article. It would also mean the Colorado Mammoth, currently at 1-7 and showing no sign of improvement whatsoever, would make this year's playoffs by default.)

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The NLL (and its predecessor the MILL) has seen franchises relocate midseason before, as have other leagues. But this would be the first NLL/MILL team to fold outright while a season is in progress.

And what is it about the first week in March, anyway? The NFL lockout, federal government shutdown, and now the Riggers going under are all apparently possible to happen within a 48-hour span. I guess things really do come in threes.

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It's really disappointing scene around here, Bannister was practically in tears at the press conference today. But I mean this team always takes a backseat in the city, no promoting even after two championships, no live media playing of their games (Fan960 did cover their games but not in recent years), also waining attendance.

The Flames were offered to buy them but passed, I really would like to see them stay but maybe less then a quarter of the city would actually care.

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It's really disappointing scene around here, Bannister was practically in tears at the press conference today. But I mean this team always takes a backseat in the city, no promoting even after two championships, no live media playing of their games (Fan960 did cover their games but not in recent years), also waining attendance.

The Flames were offered to buy them but passed, I really would like to see them stay but maybe less then a quarter of the city would actually care.

On the IL Indoor message boards some optimistic Roughneck fans have been speculating that the Flames are just waiting for the right moment to pounce. Now that Brad Banister has publicly acknowledged his team's plight, anyone willing to take on the team's debt could probably have the team itself for about the average price of a ticket to one of their games.

Hey Mr. Balsillie...

The idea is to keep the team in Calgary, not move them to Hamilton. :) Besides, the Rochester Knighthawks (who, unlike the Roughnecks have actually seen a big attendance drop this season) might actually beat the Roughnecks there.

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What I think the Flames were waiting for was to see if anyone would pounce on them before they had to come and make an offer (Which I really hope they do) I don't think it'd be a bad investment, The Flames would promote the :censored: out of the Riggers and it would for it's self in a few years. This team is good and has chance to get another Champions Cup this year. I've been to a couple games this year and they're quite a bit of diehards.

Just like we did in 2000 with the Save the Flames rally, time for a Save the Roughnecks rally. I mean the media coverage of this impending doom is crazy and today was actually the first time outsiders knew there was a problem. Many knew they were looking for a new owner but really no one knew that they could up route in the middle of the year. But when Brad Banister had to tell the players that their paychecks would be late, something really bad was and possibly is going to happen.

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The NLL (and its predecessor the MILL) has seen franchises relocate midseason before, as have other leagues. But this would be the first NLL/MILL team to fold outright while a season is in progress.

And what is it about the first week in March, anyway? The NFL lockout, federal government shutdown, and now the Riggers going under are all apparently possible to happen within a 48-hour span. I guess things really do come in threes.

Don't forget the Kings pending announcement of abandoning Sacramento on March 1.

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The NLL (and its predecessor the MILL) has seen franchises relocate midseason before, as have other leagues. But this would be the first NLL/MILL team to fold outright while a season is in progress.

And what is it about the first week in March, anyway? The NFL lockout, federal government shutdown, and now the Riggers going under are all apparently possible to happen within a 48-hour span. I guess things really do come in threes.

Don't forget the Kings pending announcement of abandoning Sacramento on March 1.

I didn't forget them; you can't forget something you weren't aware of in the first place because you maintain only a cursory following of the NBA to begin with.

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This is the kind of story I just hate to hear.

Fact of the matter is that when you have ownership who is dedicated like Brad Banister you want nothing but success for them.

I've actually brought this story to the attention of the company I work for who do have an office in Calgary and suggested looking at adverstising using the Roughnecks, I know that alone won't save the club but every little bit helps.

I hope so badly that these rumors are true and that the Flames do step up and save this team. 10 years is a pretty nice milestone in the NLL with a couple Championships to boot, you don't want to see that kind of history just go dark.

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Well, if the Riggers do fold mid-season, the playoffs should be a straight table, and the top 6-8 teams should qualify, regardless of division.

If not for the NLL's and its teams' longstanding goal of keeping travel expenses to a minimum, they'd probably do just that. If the season ended now the two bottom playoff teams would be Edmonton and Washington (state), but both of those teams would have to convene clear across the continent in Toronto and Boston, respectively, for their first-round games. As it is, they'd just be playing each other in Everett, WA (or Key Arena in Seattle if they get kicked out of their regular arena by the circus again, as happened in their playoff meeting last year).

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