By TRT Staff with notes from NLL.com
PHILADELPHIA — The National Lacrosse League, the world’s largest and most successful professional lacrosse league, today announced on Monday that this past weekend’s action, highlighted by Georgia and Vancouver both setting season highs at just more than 9,400 each, pushed overall league attendance to 1,039,418, just the third time in NLL history to eclipse the one million-fan mark in the regular season and the first time since the 2008 season.
With the NLL Playoffs now ahead, the current cumulative attendance trails only the 1,138,225 in 2007 and 1,083,345 in 2008. Attendance is up 25% versus last year, which was the first full season after the NLL ended the 2019-2020 early and sat out the 2020-2021 season due to the pandemic.
“Our record crowds this year are a testament to the commitment and passion of our loyal North American fan base, the elite competitiveness of our athletes, and the amplification of our sport by many partners, especially TSN and ESPN,” said NLL Commissioner Brett Frood. “While a million fans is clearly an impressive milestone, the pinnacle of our season lies ahead the start of the NLL Playoffs. We can’t wait for this last exciting piece of the March to the Championship to get started this weekend.”
Some key team highlights this year for attendance include: The Calgary Roughnecks hold the NLL’s single-game attendance mark this season with 17,444 on hand March 17, an 11-6 win over the Saskatchewan Rush at the ScotiaBank Saddledome. The Buffalo Bandits welcomed the next four largest crowds this season, including back-to-back crowds of more than 16,000 the past two weeks: 16,051 on April 15 against the New York Riptide, and 16,861 on April 22 versus their rival, Toronto Rock. The Toronto Rock had its largest crowd ever since relocating to Hamilton, Ontario, and its highest attendance in more than a decade: 13,127 on April 1 in an 18-7 win over the Buffalo Bandits. The Halifax Thunderbirds set a franchise high of 10,008 fans for their 15-6 win over the New York Riptide on April 21.
The NLL Playoffs begin Friday, May 5 with Toronto (E2) hosting Halifax (E3) at 7:30pm ET (ESPN+/TSN, TSN+) and Colorado (W4) travelling to take on San Diego (W1) at 10pm ET (ESPN+/TSN+). Saturday, May 6, features the other two matchups with the I-90 Rivalry, Rochester (E4) at Buffalo (E1) at 7pm ET (ESPNU/TSN+, ESPN+) and Panther City (W3) taking on Calgary (W2) at 9:30pm ET (ESPNU/TSN, ESPN+, TSN+). The Colorado Mammoth are the defending NLL Champions after defeating the Buffalo Bandits in the NLL Finals last season in three games. The winners of the Quarterfinals will play in the best-of-three Conference Finals, with Games 1 and 2 scheduled for May 12-15.