Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
August 6, 2014: The WNBA's Connecticut Sun will soon have company in the Mohegan Sun Arena with news that the Mohegan Sun and Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority have purchased half of the Philadelphia Wings of National Lacrosse League.
The team will relocate to in Uncasville, Conn., to begin play in December. A new name will be unveiled at a later date. Mohegan Sun is considered to be one of the largest casinos in the U.S., claiming some 364,000 square feet of gaming space.
Michael French would remain team president and co-owner. Financial terms of the deal were not revealed.
The Mohegan Tribe and MTGA have owned the Connecticut Sun since 2003. A major incentive to acquiring the team was to honor "both the culture and history of (lacrosse), which was founded by Native Americans over 700 years ago."
“The Mohegan Tribe is thrilled to be associated with a game with centuries-old roots with the Eastern Woodland Indians,” Kevin Brown “Red Eagle”, chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council, said during a media event to unveil the acquisition. “By bringing the lacrosse team to our reservation land, we are not only creating a tie with the past, but bringing the game into an exciting future with our top-notch sports and entertainment team.
"We are aiming to create a team and community spirit to match what we have been able to achieve with the Connecticut Sun," said Brown.
The team will be a member of the NLL East Division, joining the Buffalo Bandits, Minnesota Swarm, Rochester Knighthawks and Toronto Rock.
"By bringing the lacrosse team to our reservation land, we are not only creating a tie with the past, but bringing the game into an exciting future."
Teams in the NLL West Division are the Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Edmonton Rush and Vancouver Stealth. NLL teams play an 18 game regular season schedule from December through April. All games are played on weekends. Lead TV partner is Universal-NBC Sports Network.
According to French, “The New England market for lacrosse for both men and women has been expanding at a phenomenal pace. We have a great nucleus of proven players, strong leadership in our locker room and a very experienced coaching staff. We look forward to bringing all of this energy to Mohegan Sun Arena.”
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