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UPDATED: Mohegans to acquire professional lacrosse team

By Mike DiMauro and Brian Hallenbeck

Publication: theday.com

Published August 04. 2014 3:09PM   Updated August 04. 2014 8:21PM

Mohegan Sun is adding a professional indoor lacrosse team to its roster, sources confirmed Monday.

In the latest example of the Mohegan Tribe’s diversification of both its gaming and nongaming enterprises, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, which owns the Connecticut Sun women’s basketball team, has scheduled a Wednesday press conference to announce its acquisition of “a second professional sports team.”

While MTGA officials declined to elaborate, sources confirmed to The Day that the team is a major indoor lacrosse team, one of the nine that play in the National Lacrosse League.

In a website post last month, owners of the Philadelphia Wings, one of the league’s teams, announced they were planning to relocate the franchise for the 2015 season.

“The organization is currently taking part in discussions with a new strategic partner for re-location, pending NLL Board of Governor approval,” the owners said.

A source familiar with the discussions confirmed that the Wings were relocating to Mohegan Sun.

Presumably, the team will play its home games in the 10,000-seat Mohegan Sun Arena, as does the Connecticut Sun.

No one answered phone calls Monday at the Wings offices at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The team played its home games at the center, which has a seating capacity of 12,096.

NLL officials at the league’s corporate offices in New York also were unavailable.

“The financial model in a market with so many sport and entertainment alternatives has proven to be unsustainable,” Michael French, the Wings’ owner and president, said in the team’s website post. “Finding a new venue with new strategic partners was the only way to ensure financial stability.”

The team’s other principal owners are Brad Brewster and Ted Goldthorpe.

The National Lacrosse League completed the 28th season of professional indoor lacrosse in 2014. The nine teams played an 18-game regular season schedule that extended from late December to late April. Playoffs took place throughout May.

Four of the league’s franchises are in Canada.

The Connecticut Sun, the Mohegans’ entry in the Women’s National Basketball Association, began a 34-game regular season on May 16. With five games remaining, the team has an 11-18 record.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

m.dimauro@theday.com">m.dimauro@theday.com

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