A pair of Canadian sporting legends are bringing pro lacrosse to Sin City.
Wayne Gretzky and Steve Nash are among four co-owners of a new National Lacrosse League franchise in Las Vegas. The ownership group also includes PGA golf star Dustin Johnson, who is also Gretzky’s son-in-law, and Brooklyn Nets governor Joe Tsai.
The new franchise will become the NLL’s 15th team, beginning play in 2022. The team will play at MGM Resorts International’s Michelob Ultra Arena, which is also home to the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, located inside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
The team’s name, logo, and colours will be unveiled at a later date.
“It is an honour and privilege to work together to bring the game of box lacrosse to the Las Vegas community,” the ownership group said in a joint statement. “The people of Las Vegas have proven how passionate and supportive they are of professional sports franchises they can call their own. We look forward to making a difference here on the floor and in the community – and becoming a franchise that fans in Las Vegas will be truly proud to cheer for… We can’t wait to get started.”
This isn’t the first foray into pro sports ownership for Gretzky or Nash.
Gretzky, who recently left the Edmonton Oilers organization to accept a television job in the United States, has previously been a part-owner of the Phoenix Coyotes and the Toronto Argonauts. The head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, Nash, is currently part of the Vancouver Whitecaps ownership group.
“We are very proud to welcome Las Vegas NLL as our 15th franchise, led by an elite group of businesspeople and accomplished current and former athletes – most importantly great people in Joe, Wayne, Dustin, and Steve on the ownership level and Mark Fine leading business operations,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz.
“It all started two years ago with a meeting and an idea, and here we are today. When our industry looks back years from now on the growth of box lacrosse as a sport and Las Vegas as a home of a first-class franchise, we believe this will be one of the seminal days in NLL history. The people in this community are going to be in for a treat both on the floor and in the community.”