Alibaba Billionaire Tsai Buys Indoor Lacrosse Team in San Diego

Discussion in 'NLL News and Rumors' started by WingsNut423566, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. AmericanRockFan

    AmericanRockFan Well-Known Member

  2. dougm

    dougm Well-Known Member

  3. chuckster

    chuckster Well-Known Member

    Valley View is 51 years old so a new arena is likely due.

    I think Tsai has more money than Terry Pegula. Maybe Tsai ends up building his own version of Pegulaville? I don't think San Diego is on the radar of the NHL at all (Seattle, Quebec City, KC and Houston would be better fits) or the NBA.
  4. Vin

    Vin Well-Known Member

    Actually, Tsai is interested in the NBA as is the city overall. The NBA LA Clippers were in San Diego having previously been the Buffalo Braves. Before that, there was the San Diego Conquistadors of the old ABA.
  5. Vin

    Vin Well-Known Member

    Sports Blog Nation reports Bill Walton is on-board!

    Bill Walton, yes, THAT Bill Walton, is excited for NLL expansion to San Diego
    The basketball hall-of-famer took to Twitter to show his enthusiasm for the new expansion team.
    by sbnationstaff Aug 31, 2017, 10:19am EDT

    Bill Walton is known in the sports world for a lot of things. Hall-of-fame career at UCLA under John Wooden. NBA Champion. NBA Most Valuable Player. College basketball announcer, who may, on occasion, go on a rant mid-broadcast.

    Now, you can add lacrosse fan to the mix. Reports were confirmed on Tuesday that the NLL is officially expanding to San Diego and Philadelphia - a story College Crosse broke back in early July - and you could say that Walton is a little bit amped about it.

    @SanDiegoLax - sports, business, San Diego, lacrosse, @NLL, what could be better, won't you come with us?

    — Bill Walton (@BillWalton) August 30, 2017

    “It took me awhile, but I finally found my calling,” Walton says in the video, while wearing a generic ‘San Diego’ NLL jersey. “The NLL, coming to my hometown San Diego...the greatest place on Earth. Let’s go, let’s play ball.”

    Walton is holding a custom Jerry Garcia stick from Warrior in the video, continuing the tradition of the intersection of lacrosse and the Grateful Dead.

    To make the whole interaction and video more official, Walton seems to have gotten a visit from NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz.

    San Diego is so welcoming the amazing @BillWalton opened up his home to us and showed us his custom @jerrygarcia @warriorlacrosse weapon

    — Nick Sakiewicz (@NLLcommish) August 31, 2017

    The team doesn’t have a name yet, but having a character like Walton around to hype the league up certainly can’t hurt. Stay tuned for more updates on expansion and the NLL!
  6. Vin

    Vin Well-Known Member

    Nice article and video out of the NBC station in the SF Bay area...

    Interesting though - I did not see one mention of the old San Jose Stealth.

    Pro Lacrosse Comes to San Diego
    The National Lacrosse League awarded an expansion team to San Diego. The team will begin play in November 2018. The team is owned by La Jolla billionaire Joe Tsai, co-founder and President of the Alibaba Group.
    By Todd Strain

    The National Lacrosse League (NLL), the largest professional lacrosse league in the world, has awarded an expansion team to San Diego. The yet to be named team will begin to play in November 2018.

    NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz and Steve Govett, President of the San Diego team, visited the NBC 7 studios Wednesday to talk about San Diego’s newest professional sports franchise.

    “San Diego represents a great footprint for us. We’ve been predominantly a northwest league and coming out to San Diego, which is not only a great sports city, but geographically, it puts us in a great spot,” said Sakiewicz.

    Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance in professional indoor sports worldwide. San Diego will be the tenth franchise in the NLL.

    Sakiewicz predicted San Diego sports fans will find pro lacrosse to their liking.

    “It’s the best kept secret in pro sports. It’s high scoring, hard hitting and fast action. It’s the fastest game on feet. We have world’s best lacrosse players...and they’ll be coming to San Diego to play.”

    In game atmosphere is a huge focus of the league. Govett said fans would be totally engaged in the product from the games start to finish.

    “From fireworks to motorcycles to hot tubs to dancers to an unbelievable on-field product. It’s electric! We’ve taken all the best from football, soccer and basketball, and we’ve put them on steroids," Govett said.

    The team is owned by Joe Tsai, the co-founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group. According to Forbes, Tsai has an estimated net worth of $8.9 billion. Tsai, who played college lacrosse at Yale, has many ties to San Diego, including a house in La Jolla.

    Sakiewicz thinks the league has a winner with Tsai.

    “It’s important to pick the right owner, with the right philosophy, the right humility and focus on the community. That’s really important because sports teams that come into city’s should be forever," Sakiewicz said.

    He added: “The philosophy that Joe brings is this is a community team. Sports teams need to be centered in community and sports teams are forever if they do a good job centering themselves in community and being fan friendly."

    The team will play its home games at the Valley View Casino Center. There has been speculation that Tsai will be building an arena in the downtown area’s east village. That venue would then house San Diego’s lacrosse team and be used to attract an NBA team.

    Govett says right now that’s just speculation and not something Tsai is focusing on.

    “The focus in on lacrosse, no focus on a building, no focus on the NBA, no focus on a new arena. We haven’t bought any land, we haven’t put one dime into a market study. We have no interest right now in pursuing a building.”

    When pressed on the possibility of acquiring land or building a new arena in the future Govett said, “I think, yeah, anytime you would want to play in a new building, but the Valley View Casino Center is perfect for National Lacrosse League, it’s a perfect building, and we’re going to show people it’s a great place to be.”

    Deposits for San Diego NLL season tickets are being accepted online.
  7. Mr Boo

    Mr Boo Well-Known Member

    Why would they mention a team that hasn't existed for eight years located 500 miles away? Phoenix and Anaheim are both closer to San Diego and there was no mention of them either.
  8. AmericanRockFan

    AmericanRockFan Well-Known Member

    I see season tickets start at only $70/season. I was looking at the fine print, and it looks like they're looking for people to commit to 2 seasons, which I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of that because that might make the casual curious observer a little more hesitant to take the plunge and put down a deposit.
  9. unspoken

    unspoken Member

    This year is do or die for that city. The Swarm's twitter account has put out multiple tweets trying to sell season tickets which they have reduced prices on significantly from last year, and also offered incentives to STHs that you can buy cheap tickets for your friends on home opener night when they raise the banner.

    It could very well work, but in my mind offering these deals so far out is a sign they're worried that things won't pick up.

    EDIT - I now see they have another promo where if you buy four season tickets, you get a championship ring from last year. Wow.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  10. AmericanRockFan

    AmericanRockFan Well-Known Member

    Depends on how ugly we're talking....

    But on a serious note, I think Swarm attendance will improve in 2018 but I'm not sure it'll be enough to save the team. Winning and being active in the community are great, but are things really going to change overnight and result in a hit at the box office? Unfortunately I don't think so. While the offers they're offering right now will probably result in higher attendance, I'm not sure how much extra revenue it's going to bring in. 5,000 people in the barn at $10 apiece is gonna give you the same amount of money that 1,250 people will give you at $40 apiece.
  11. Vin

    Vin Well-Known Member

    Regarding the Swarm, I think the #1 factor is the regional media. The Gwinnett Daily Post does a great job but that is local. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution covered the team during its first season, but totally ignored the team for the second season until they decided to ride the bandwagon once playoffs hit. Now that Atlanta actually has a champion in something and that lacrosse is growing down there (the AJC covers local field), maybe the Atlanta Journal Constitution will dedicate some more ink toward that team. The same can be said about the television sports news media in other words the pre 7 a.m., 5 and 6 p.m., and 11 p.m. local news broadcasts. Again if they cover, that will help considerably. Finally of course the Georgia Swarm still have to remain a good Championship worthy team
  12. GoodsOnSabres

    GoodsOnSabres Member

    Govett said on Stealth Classified that San Diego landed 1,000 season ticket holders on the first day. If that's true, that's an awesome start.
    Andrew GEA likes this.
  13. Andrew GEA

    Andrew GEA Guest

    If San Diego work out it'll be a great lax hub in the southwest . I think this will definitely help develop the game in Western us and the western div as a whole .
  14. smurf666

    smurf666 Guest

    It's hockey like in terms of using sticks, playing within boards, firing high speed projectiles at vertical goals tended by padded men who make saves with their bodies, and changing on the fly.

    This said, set offense and breakout plays maybe have much more in common with basketball, except that you cannot (usually) score baseline shots here.
  15. BIG E NY

    BIG E NY Member

    From College Crosse re: team name:

    “It was something he really wanted,” Gross said of Tsai’s choice. “It has a dual meaning. It certainly is something that is inherent to San Diego and local specific.”

    I'm thinking it's Destroyers, not warm and fuzzy but a dual meaning and part of San Diego.
  16. AmericanRockFan

    AmericanRockFan Well-Known Member

    Like the Navy ship Destroyers? Similar to Buffalo's old AFL team name?
  17. swami24

    swami24 Well-Known Member

    Seals? Certainly a hot image in the entertainment world now. Logo wears the military gear, but holds a stick, and has outline of a few of the mammals in the the background.
  18. Vin

    Vin Well-Known Member

    I was thinking the same thing although I hope he doesn't go with that.
  19. BigDave

    BigDave Active Member

    Maybe they could rework the old Oakland Seals logo.
  20. wacklax

    wacklax Member

    San Diego Destroyers. Rolls of the tongue nicely. Works for me!

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