Billionaire Investment Turns Vegas into Lacrosse Hotspot

The Rise of Indoor Lacrosse: NLL’s San Diego Seals vs. Colorado Mammoth

An Introduction to Indoor Lacrosse and its Growing Popularity

Indoor lacrosse, also known as box lacrosse, has long been popular in its traditional regional strongholds and garnered the attention of a handful of billionaire team owners. However, in recent years, the National Lacrosse League (NLL) – the premier indoor lacrosse league – has witnessed a shift in its fortunes. As the NLL embarks on its 34th season, the sport is experiencing a surge in popularity and a rise in viewership and sponsorship revenues. This upward trajectory places indoor lacrosse on the cusp of breaking into new markets.

The Las Vegas Debut: A Spectacle Designed to Propel Popularity

The NLL’s San Diego Seals are set to host the Colorado Mammoth in Las Vegas on February 1, 2020, during the Super Bowl weekend. This strategic move by the billionaire owners of the respective teams aims to capitalize on the heightened sporting fervor and increase the visibility of indoor lacrosse. The event will take place at the Orleans Arena, promising an electric atmosphere that is sure to captivate both seasoned fans and newcomers to the sport.

San Diego Seals’ President, Steve Govett, expresses his excitement, stating, “The additional benefit of showcasing professional box lacrosse to a new audience is exciting. We look forward to exposing the sport to a brand-new fan base in an iconic city like Las Vegas.” This newfound exposure holds immense potential for the NLL’s growth and appeals not only to lacrosse enthusiasts but also to sports bettors eyeing new opportunities.

Billionaire Team Owners: The Driving Force Behind Indoor Lacrosse

It comes as no surprise that most major league team owners are billionaires. While the NLL franchises may not command billion-dollar valuations, they have nonetheless attracted notable billionaire owners. These individuals, passionate about the sport and its potential, have injected new life into indoor lacrosse.

One such owner is Joseph Tsai, co-founder of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, who owns the San Diego Seals. With a net worth of approximately $10.3 billion, Tsai credits his experience playing lacrosse at Yale University for his interest in owning an NLL team. Tsai is no stranger to the sports world, as he also owns the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and the WNBA’s New York Liberty.

On the other hand, the Colorado Mammoth is owned by Stanley Kroenke, a prominent figure in the sports industry. With a net worth of around $9.8 billion, Kroenke’s portfolio includes ownership of the NFL’s LA Rams and a controlling stake in the Premier League’s Arsenal Football Club. Kroenke’s NFL ownership restrictions led his wife, Ann Walton Kroenke, to officially own the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. Ann, a billionaire in her own right, is one of the heirs to the Walmart fortune.

The Potential for Betting Expansion in the NLL

The NLL’s debut in Las Vegas holds broader significance beyond increased exposure. It signifies the league’s recognition of the growing interest among major league sports in developing sports betting partnerships. The NLL already has a partnership with Sports Interaction, a Canadian online sportsbook. As legalized sports betting continues to expand across the United States, NLL betting opportunities are poised to flourish.

Lacrosse holds immense cultural significance to indigenous peoples, who invented the sport centuries ago. The NLL currently boasts 29 players with indigenous roots, captivating regions with large indigenous populations and Indian casinos. Although Connecticut has yet to launch sports betting, the potential inclusion of the New England Black Wolves – owned by Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment – could attract bettors to wager on NLL matches.

Indoor lacrosse presents an enticing option for sports bettors due to its dynamic nature and high-scoring games. With an average of 23 goals scored per game, it offers ample opportunities for prop bets and in-game wagering. Bettors are often drawn to under-covered and under-analyzed sporting events, which tend to offer larger edges. Thus, NLL wagering has the potential to gain traction in the United States.

The NLL’s Vegas Connection: Expansion and Relocation Possibilities

The choice of Las Vegas as the venue for the Seals vs. Mammoth matchup provides insight into the NLL’s expansion plans. The city has emerged as a hotspot for major league relocations and expansion teams, epitomized by the success of the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL. The arrival of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces in 2018 further solidified the city’s prowess in embracing new sports franchises.

With upcoming NFL, MLB, and MLS teams set to call Las Vegas home, the NLL may be targeting the city for expansion. Given that indoor lacrosse is typically played on covered ice hockey rinks, the T-Mobile Arena offers an ideal venue for the sport. Additionally, there may be other billionaire sports enthusiasts seeking to add an indoor lacrosse team to their major league sports portfolios, paving the way for potential growth in the NLL.


The National Lacrosse League’s foray into Las Vegas embodies the sport’s growing appeal and potential for expansion. The strategic choice of hosting a high-profile matchup during the Super Bowl weekend alongside other major league franchises demonstrates the NLL’s ambition to capture new audiences and diversify its fan base. With billionaire team owners at the helm, the league is well-positioned to capitalize on the rising interest in indoor lacrosse.

From a sports betting perspective, the NLL offers untapped potential for bettors seeking unique and under-analyzed sporting events. The fast-paced nature of indoor lacrosse, coupled with its high-scoring games, makes it an ideal candidate for prop bets and in-game wagering.

As the NLL continues to grow its roster of 13 teams, the possibility of expansion to Las Vegas becomes increasingly viable. The success of existing sports franchises in the city, coupled with the availability of suitable venues, creates fertile ground for the growth of indoor lacrosse.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does indoor lacrosse differ from traditional outdoor lacrosse?

Indoor lacrosse, also known as box lacrosse, is typically played on covered ice hockey rinks, offering a more fast-paced and physical style of play compared to traditional outdoor lacrosse. The smaller playing surface and confined setting result in quicker transitions, increased scoring opportunities, and a heightened level of intensity.

2. What is the significance of the Las Vegas debut for the NLL?

The NLL’s debut in Las Vegas signifies the league’s desire to tap into a new market and expose the sport to a broader audience. The choice of hosting the event during the Super Bowl weekend further maximizes visibility and captures the attention of sports enthusiasts in a city renowned for its sports culture.

3. How are sports betting and the NLL connected?

The NLL has recognized the potential of sports betting partnerships as a means to enhance fan engagement and drive revenue growth. With the gradual legalization of sports betting across the United States, the NLL is well-positioned to leverage this opportunity and provide fans with exciting betting options and experiences.

4. Is the NLL planning on expanding its current roster of teams?

The NLL has expressed openness to expanding its current roster of 13 teams. Las Vegas, with its proven success in attracting major league franchises, offers a compelling destination for potential expansion or relocation. The presence of suitable venues and a sports-friendly market lays the foundation for the NLL to explore further growth opportunities.

5. Are there any indoor lacrosse teams owned by indigenous groups?

While there are currently no indoor lacrosse teams directly owned by indigenous groups, the NLL celebrates the cultural importance of lacrosse to indigenous peoples. The league boasts 29 players with indigenous roots, highlighting the sport’s deep connection to its origins and fostering a sense of pride among indigenous communities.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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