Last year I was part of a group involved in bringing the 2012 MLL All-Star game to South Florida. The game served as an initial test to see whether this market could support a franchise. We put together a jamboree style tournament around the game called the MLL Experience. Each player participating in the tournament received a ticket to the game. 45 teams from across the state participated leading to attendance of close to 5000.
This year the ELEV|8 Sports Institute with the help of the Palm Beach Sports Commission decided to host a regular season game as a final test to see if the South Florida market can support a team. It will be the 3rd game of the 2013 MLL season that has been played in the South, joining Tampa, FL and Atlanta, GA. We’re excited to host the Hamilton Nationals and Rochester Rattlers. Months and months of planning go into running an event of this size.
Just like a wedding you start with the major tasks first and then hammer out the final details. Our planning started in November. We spoke with Commissioner David Gross about the possibility of bringing a game down and selected the date and venue, FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, FL, the same as the all-star game last year. At this point the schedule hasn’t come out so you don’t know who will be playing yet. We would find out about a month later the game would feature Rochester and Hamilton. The next step is to find local sponsors for the game. We were able to land the Sun Sentinel, Florida’s largest newspaper and Duffy’s Sports Grill. All of this happens before you launch a press release.
Once the press release is out tickets go on sale. To help with ticket sales we decided to once again to run a tournament around the game. The MLL Experience 2013 will be played June 22-23 in Delray Beach, FL. We have teams coming from as far away as Jacksonville and Naples and everywhere in between. The teams will play 3 games Saturday and one Sunday in a jamboree style format.
All the while we are working hand in hand with the Major League Lacrosse corporate office. They do a great job of breaking down everything that needs to be done to run a successful event. Each venue is different and decisions like what sidelines to put the teams on and where to position television cameras are carefully calculated. There’s a checklist of what each team needs from food to drinks to towels and a schedule of exactly what needs to happen minute by minute on gameday.
We’re less than two weeks away and are now getting down to the smaller details. In the past week I’ve secured a sideline doctor, statisticians, penalty box officials and someone to sing both the United States and Canadian National Anthems. Today we had a conference call to go over the schedule of game announcements and contests during tv timeouts. Its a lot of work to put on an MLL game and if this one is successful we might have a franchise down here and 7 home games.
To purchase tickets to the June 22 game between the Hamilton Nationals and Rochester Rattlers please visit http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0D004A83CDEB7414?artistid=1696950&majorcatid=10004&minorcatid=35&tm_link=browse_msg-0_0D004A83CDEB7414