The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), North America’s premier professional lacrosse league, today announced the first-ever NLL UnBOXed™ Series marquee event game scheduled for Friday, February 16, 2024, at 7 p.m. ET in Laval, Québec, outside of Montréal. The League’s newest tentpole showcase features the NLL’s two largest markets as the Toronto Rock and New York Riptide will clash in a pivotal midseason showdown.
Place Bell, home of the Laval Rocket, the AHL affiliate of the NHL Montréal Canadiens, will host the 2024 NLL UnBOXed Series, marking the first regular season game in Québec since 2002 when the NLL Montréal Express played its final game at the then-Molson Centre.
Tickets for the 2024 NLL UnBOXed Series will officially go on sale on November 16th at noon ET at evenko.ca.
Today’s announcement follows last week’s unveiling of the NLL’s new multi-national grassroots initiative, NLL UnBOXed, including the launch of its Montréal area-specific programming under the “Castors de Montréal” brand.
“Interest in box lacrosse, from the grassroots to the professional level, continues to skyrocket in Québec, and we are proud to be able to take this next step in bringing the NLL and our elite athletes to Laval and the greater Montréal area,” said NLL Commissioner Brett Frood. “We are thankful to the leadership of the Canadiens, especially France Margaret Bélanger, in working with us to host the game at Place Bell, and to both the Riptide and the Rock for their enthusiasm to move to a neutral site so that we can expand our regular season audience in Montréal for the first time in more than 20 years.”
The NLL UnBOXed Series event platform will also include additional local activations throughout Montréal leading up to the game in Laval, including instructional clinics for young boys and girls, parents, and coaches, and gameday interactive fan experiences at Place Bell. Specific details will be announced at a later date.
“We are delighted to be working with the National Lacrosse League to bring the best in professional box lacrosse to Laval in February,” said Groupe CH president, sports and entertainment, France Margaret Bélanger. “The sport has a deep history in our province, and hosting this game is a great way to honor the past while looking to the future, as we give our fans a chance to see the Rock and Riptide play in an important regular season game at Place Bell.”
The inaugural NLL UnBOXed Series also will feature the first in-game use of the NLL’s new French-language brand identity unveiled this past July, further symbolizing the League’s long-term commitment to growing box lacrosse in Montréal, throughout Québec, and with all Canadians.
For fans outside of the greater Montréal area, the NLL UnBOXed Series game will be the nationally broadcast “NLL Game of the Week on TSN” throughout Canada, with French-language coverage available on RDS. ESPN+ will stream the game in the U.S.
Professional box lacrosse has had two franchises play in Québec in its history: the Montréal Quebecois played in 1974 and 1975 in the original NLL, followed by the Express in 2002. In recent years, Toronto hosted successful preseason games at Centre Bell in Montreal against the Rochester Knighthawks in 2012 and 2014.
The 2023-24 NLL season will commence with NLL Faceoff Weekend the first weekend of December.