Russ Cline And The Birth Of Modern-Day Indoor Box Lacrosse

Discussion in 'NLL News and Rumors' started by Vin, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. Vin

    Vin Well-Known Member

    EPISODE #55: Russ Cline And The Birth Of Modern-Day Indoor Box Lacrosse

    Our first-ever (and long-overdue) exploration of the sport of professional lacrosse begins with a conversation with one of the godfathers of the modern indoor game, Russ Cline – founder (along with partner and fellow Kansas City sports promoter Chris Fritz) of 1987’s seminal four-team Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League (soon renamed the Major Indoor Lacrosse League) – and the progenitor of today’s vibrant National Lacrosse League that spans 11 cities across the US and Canada.

    Cline walks obsessive inquisitor Tim Hanlon through: the duo’s rationale behind choosing lacrosse as the focus of their entrepreneurial efforts; the slow-growth approaches to expansion beyond the lacrosse-rich Northeast and national television coverage; the business model battle between single-entity and individually-owned franchises; and the delicate balance between maintaining the integrity of the sport’s rich history and marketing a hard-hitting, high-scoring, action-packed entertainment product.
  2. mtbf

    mtbf Well-Known Member

    Did they say anything about their original plan was to play on roller blades?
    RockStar likes this.
  3. Rottenrocker

    Rottenrocker Active Member

    Fantastic interview. Thanks for the head's up, Vin!
  4. dougm

    dougm Well-Known Member

    yes, it was mentioned.
  5. Rick716

    Rick716 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the interview link. For those of us who were there in the early years, it's great to hear some inside info from one of the founders. I always like the name "Major Indoor Lacrosse League" and wished they could have kept using it.

    Cline makes a good point about how the strong cities (Philadelphia and later Buffalo) helped to support the whole league. He mentioned Baltimore was dying at one point in the intervew. So while it seemed absurd at the time that players were making $125 per game (I'm not naive--I'm sure Cline and Fritz paid themselves first), the single entity structure helped the league stay afloat in those early years. He was very complimentary toward the people involved with the league today. Highly recommended interview.
  6. dougm

    dougm Well-Known Member

    best line was that one of the new owners was more concerned about getting his kid on the team than anything else. i am thinking ny saints mike gongas.

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