The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, announced today that the Priestner Sports Corporation has acquired the Saskatchewan Rush from owner Bruce Urban. The group, led by Mike Priestner, the owner of Go Auto, a Deloitte Best Managed Company that spans 47 car dealerships across Canada as well as the owner Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League, takes over the club effective today, solidifying the Rush’s position in Saskatchewan for the long term. Colin Priestner will act as the team’s Governor while continuing his role as the GM/President of the Blades, while Jared Priestner will serve as Alternate Governor. All lacrosse operations will continue to be run by Rush GM Derek Keenan.
“This is a transitional and progressive day for our league and the sport of lacrosse, as we welcome Priestner Sports to the NLL and thank Bruce Urban and his team for years of hard work and success both in the community and on the field of play,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “The Rush have been, and will continue to be, a model franchise not just for the National Lacrosse league but for all of sports in North America, and are key to our continued growth and business success as we head toward our 2021-22 season this fall.”
“First and foremost, we must thank Mr. Bruce Urban for allowing us the privilege of carrying on the Rush legacy,” said Colin Priestner. “We recognize all he has done to bring the best lacrosse in the world to Saskatoon, while giving back to both the city and its surrounding areas. We welcome the challenge of maintaining the winning tradition he established here, while pushing ourselves to find new and interesting ways to grow the game and the Rush fanbase which, in our humble opinion, is already the best in the league.”
“I am pleased to transfer ownership of the Rush organization to Jared, Colin, and Mike Priestner,” said Bruce Urban. “The Priestners are experienced operators, who will continue to run this team with pride and professionalism. Cindy, Brandon and I will greatly miss the Rush fans, sponsors, media, and of course the players, coaches, and team staff. We will cherish the wonderful memories made over 10 seasons in Edmonton and 5 in Saskatchewan.”
The Rush have been one of the most successful franchises not just in the NLL but in all of North American sports, winning the NLL title in 2016 and 2018, and finishing as runner-up in 2017, all under head coach Derek Keenan. The team was 7-3 and again in first place in the NLL Western Division when the 2019-20 season ended due to the Pandemic. The Rush have averaged over 13,400 fans in their past five seasons in Saskatoon, the best in the NLL during that timeframe.