The National Lacrosse League (NLL), the largest men’s professional lacrosse league, has released the schedule for the upcoming 2019-2020 regular season.
The 2019-20 season will involve 13 teams including the expansion New York Riptide and Rochester Knighthawks, as well as the new market Halifax Thunderbirds. A total of 117 games – the most in NLL history – will be played in the regular season to determine which eight teams qualify for the playoffs. All games will be broadcast on B/R Live. Season and group packages as well as single game tickets can be purchased though NLL.com/tickets.
“The release of our 34th regular season schedule is particularly special because it signals that the indoor lacrosse season is right around the corner,” NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz said. “With the addition of two new franchises in New York and Rochester and our fifth Canadian team in the great city of Halifax, playing across the new three-conference alignment, there will be interesting and entertaining matchups at every twist and turn of the regular season.”
Three games will highlight the annual Face Off Weekend, leading off with the Colorado Mammoth hosting the Saskatchewan Rush at the Pepsi Center on November 29 at 9:30pm ET. The same night will also see the defending NLL champion Calgary Roughnecks begin their title defense on the road as they make a visit to Rogers Arena to play the Vancouver Warriors at 10pm ET. A new era of lacrosse will begin in Rochester the following day as the expansion Knighthawks open the season as a new franchise at the Blue Cross Arena by hosting the Georgia Swarm at 7pm ET to conclude Week 1 of the NLL schedule.
In Week 2, on December 7, Nova Scotians will get their first taste of live NLL action as the Halifax Thunderbirds host the expansion New York Riptide at Scotiabank Centre at 6pm ET. Additionally, the Toronto Rock will welcome the New England Black Wolves to the Scotiabank Arena at 7pm ET, and the Buffalo Bandits will begin their home slate by hosting the San Diego Seals at the KeyBank Center also at 7pm ET.
Week 3 will feature three more teams’ home openers on the same night as the Georgia Swarm host the Philadelphia Wings at the Infinite Energy Arena on Saturday, December 14 at 7pm ET. The Saskatchewan Rush open their doors at the SaskTel Centre against New England at 8:30pm ET and the San Diego Seals will welcome Toronto to the Pechanga Arena for a 10pm ET start.
The defending champion Calgary Roughnecks’ home opener will be during Week 4 as they host Colorado at the Scotiabank Saddledome at 9:30pm ET. Calgarians will have their first opportunity to see their team at home since the Roughnecks captured the NLL title on home turf in May.
“The players, coaches and organization are excited to get the season started and, as always, begin the push towards winning a championship,” said Mike Board, Calgary Roughnecks General Manager. “The home opener on December 21 will be a special evening for the Roughnecks and our great fans.”
The Week 5 schedule will witness the home opener for the New England Black Wolves, who will host the New York Riptide on Friday, December 27, at the Mohegan Sun Arena at 7:30pm ET. The next night, the Riptide will travel home to play their first home game in franchise history against Saskatchewan at the Nassau Coliseum for a 7:30pm ET tilt.
The Philadelphia Wings won’t see their first home game until the calendar year flips to 2020 as Philly will play Vancouver at the Wells Fargo Center on January 10 at 7pm ET. With another action-packed season ahead, the schedule release begins the countdown to game action for both fans and the league.
The 2019-2020 season will be the inaugural season for the New York Riptide and the new Rochester Knighthawks. The league’s 12th and 13th franchises are set to compete with players from both the Expansion Draft, which took place on July 9, and Entry Draft, which will occur on Tuesday, September 17.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for the New York Riptide, the NLL and the growth of the sport of lacrosse,” said Riptide Head Coach and General Manager Regy Thorpe. “New York has some of the most avid and passionate lacrosse fans and we plan to leave it all out on the field for them during the Riptide’s inaugural season.”
In addition to welcoming Halifax, New York, Rochester, and a fresh crop of rookies, the League and the San Diego Seals will make history when the Seals host two special events games in February. More details will be announced at a later date for the February 1 tilt versus Colorado and February 22 game against Vancouver.
The 34th season is set to be another exciting year of hard-hitting action and growth for the National Lacrosse League. The league and teams look forward to providing fans with a thrilling season.