MLL Takes Ownership of Rattlers, League Expects Team to Play in 2020


The Dallas Rattlers ownership has shifted back to the league, news confirmed by Commissioner Sandy Brown on Wednesday.

Major League Lacrosse has shifted ownership of the Dallas Rattlers back to the league, replacing New Balance as owners of the franchise, according to MLL Commissioner Alexander Sandy Brown.

News of the change of ownership was first reported by Inside Lacrosse — which stated the team had “shut down front office operations” and that the ownership, led by New Balance owner and chairman Jim Davis, was ousted.

The league and Commissioner Brown issued a statement of Wednesday afternoon, clarifying the news:

"Major League Lacrosse announced today that it has transitioned ownership of the Dallas Rattlers, LLC from New Balance, Inc. back to the league. This move was contemplated as part of the league restructuring that occurred earlier this year. The league will continue to operate the team and is currently in discussion with new ownership candidates. This transition is not an unprecedented event, for the league has previously operated franchises under the same construct. The league looks forward to the Dallas Rattlers competing for an MLL Championship in 2020. Major League Lacrosse just concluded a successful 2019 season with the Chesapeake Bayhawks defeating the Denver Outlaws in the MLL Championship game 10-9." 

The restructuring of the league this spring resulted in three franchises — Charlotte Hounds, Florida Launch and Ohio Machine — ceasing operations. Brown was adamant about his expectation that the Rattlers will not suffer the same fate.

“We’re not shutting this team down,” Brown said. “Everything is in place. The team is in existence and we expect will compete in the 2020 season.”

The Dallas Rattlers played out the 2019 season as part of a six-team league that included the Chesapeake Bayhawks, Boston Cannons, Denver Outlaws, Atlanta Blaze and New York Lizards.

A playoff contender until the end, the Rattlers finished the season at 7-9 and in fifth place in the MLL standings. The franchise played its games at The Star in Frisco, Texas, part of the Dallas Cowboys’ World Headquarters.

The Rattlers franchise, which had relocated from Rochester prior to the 2018 season, has been successful in the Dallas region. Brown said the league has been in discussions with potential new ownership in the area.

“We are having conversations with owners in market,” he said. “We’d like to see the franchise stay there. There’s a great appetite for our sport in Dallas and that part of the country. They were in the championship game last year. They made a good run this year. It’s important for MLL to have a team there and for the game to have a team there.”

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