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'One of the great days in Halifax sports history' : HRM scores National Lacrosse League team (update)

Starting next December, the Scotiabank Centre will be the home of Halifax's new National Lacrosse League team.
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(Matthew Moore/HalifaxToday.ca)

Starting next December, the Scotiabank Centre will be the home of Halifax's new National Lacrosse League team.

North America's largest men's professional indoor lacrosse league announced Thursday morning the Rochester Knighthawks would be relocating to Halifax.

NLL commissioner Nick Sakiewicz told a crowd at HFX Sports Bar & Grill Halifax is a great sports city with a passionate fan base.

"You will look back at today and say this is one of the great days in Halifax sports history, a moment when a major professional sports league brought a major league sport to a major league city," said Sakiewicz. "I always wondered why Halifax didn't have a major league team in a major sport, and today you got one."

There will be nine regular season home games, plus pre-season and playoff games.

At Thursday's news conference Mayor Mike Savage called Halifax a growing, thriving and diverse city with a big love of sports.

"When you come downtown on game night, the city's going to be alive," he said. "Hockey, basketball, soccer and now lacrosse all bringing new energy and excitement to the downtown."

The Knighthawks finished their regular season last year with a 10-8 record and were crowned the East Division champions.

The team will continue to play in Rochester for the 2018-19 season, then move to Halifax and play their first game under a new name at the Scotiabank Centre in Dec. 2019.

In a statement, owner and general manager Curt Styres said Halifax and Nova Scotia has a strong reputation for loyal and passionate fans.

"The community has already started to feel like home," he said. "We look forward to growing the sport and delivering great entertainment to the fans in Halifax and beyond." 

The National Lacrosse League was founded in 1986 and consists of 11 franchises in North America.

It ranks third in average attendance for professional indoor sports worldwide behind the NHL and NBA.




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