After a busy weekend for North America's top outdoor lacrosse league that saw its collegiate draft take place in Philadelphia, Major League Lacrosse released its schedule for the 2013 season. Eight teams will again battle for the Steinfeld Cup with each franchise playing a 14 game season (7 home/7 away).
The season opens April 27 and ends with the Championship weekend to take place August 24-25 at Philadelphia's PPL Park. The format for Championship weekend is a 'Final Four' style, with two semi-finals played on Saturday the 24th and the Final on Sunday the 25th. Tickets for the weekend are actually on sale now here, with tickets for the 3-game package starting at only $46 (including $3 fee).
In addition to being the home of Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union, PPL Park is becoming a popular venue for lacrosse. The 18,500-seater in Chester, PA hosted a NCAA Quarterfinal last year and will host the inaugural Whitman's Sampler Independence Classic, a 3 game marathon of top NCAA lacrosse teams, on March 9, 2013.
Though the championship will be held at a neutral site, Major League Lacrosse actually has a history in the area. The Philadelphia Barrage arrived for the 2004 season after a failed run in Bridgeport, CT. In five seasons, the Barrage won three league championships ('04, '06, '07).
PPL Park wasn't around back then, so the Barrage played its first three seasons at Villanova Stadium, before moving to a suburban sports complex for a year before the team was turned into a traveling team for the 2008 season. They folded at the close of the season.
All MLL teams will stay at the same venues each played at last year, with New York moving 2 games away from Hofstra University's Shuart Stadium to Icahn Stadium, on Randall's Island.
Each team's venue is listed:
Boston Cannons: Harvard Stadium
Charlotte Hounds: American Legion Memorial Stadium
Chesapeake Bayhawks: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Denver Outlaws: Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium
Hamilton Nationals: Les Prince Field at Ron Joyce Stadium
New York Lizards: Shuart Stadium, Icahn Stadium
Ohio Machine: Selby Stadium
Rochester Rattlers: Sahlen's Stadium
Championship Weekend: PPL Park
The league's All Star Game will take place on July 13 with Charlotte getting the honor to host the exhibition at American Legion Memorial Stadium. This is a change from last year as the game was held at a neutral site, FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida. The league had made it known they were using the game as a litmus test for possible expansion to the area.
It had been suspected that Atlanta would get this year's All Star Game, as it has been an area the league has mentioned as a possible expansion site. Instead, Inside Lacrosse reported that this year a regular season game will be played in the Atlanta, GA area at Kennesaw State University Stadium. The venue seats 8,300 and in addition to hosting the school's women's soccer and lacrosse teams, was the home venue for the now-defunct Women's Professional Soccer franchise, the Atlanta Beat. The date and teams involved should be announced later this week.
You can review the 2013 composite schedule at MLL's official site.